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Full text of "History of Hamilton and Clay counties, Nebraska / supervising editors George L. Burr, O.O. Buck ; compiled by Dale P. Stough"

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V- M. 




Hamilton and Clay Counties 


Supenising Editors 

GEORGE L. BURR, Hamilton County 

O. O. BUCK, Clay County 

Compiled by 








Now laiul the proud tree planter state, 
Nebraska, — free, enlightened, great; 
Her royal place she has in song : 
The noblest strains to her belong: 

Her fame is sure. 
Then sing Nebraska through the years ; 
Extol her stahvart pioneers ; 
The days when, staunch and unafraid. 
The state's foundations, well they laid, 

To Ions endure. 

The land where Coronado trod. 
And brave ^Marquette surveyed the sod : 
Where red men long in council sat : 
Where spreads the valley of the Platte 

Far "neath the sun. 
The land, beside whose borders sweep 
The big Missouri's waters, deep. 
Whose course erratic, through its sands. 
From northland on, through many 

Does seaward run. 

The foothills of the Rockies lie 
Afar athwart her western sky: 
Her rolling prairie, like the sea. 
Held long in virgin sanctity 

Her fertile loam. 
Her wild-life roamed o'er treeless plains 
Till came the toiling wagon-trains. 
And settlers bold, far westward bound, 
Tn broad Nebraska's vallev found 

Now o'er her realm and 'neath her sky. 
Her golden harvests richly lie; 
Her corn more vast than Egypt yields ; 
Her grain unmatched in other fields: 
Her cattle rare. 

Alfalfa fields, by winding streams; 
.\nd sunsets, thrilling poets' dreams. 
These all we sing, and know the time 
Has ne'er revealed a fairer clime. 
Or sweeter air. 

proud Nebraska, brave and free : 
Thus sings thy populace to thee. 
Thy virile strength, thy love of light; 
Thy civic glory, joined with right. 

Our hearts elate. 
Thy manly wisdom, firm to rule ; 
Thy womanhood in church and school ; 
Thy learning, culture, art, and peace 
Do make thee strong, and ne'er shall 

To keep thee great. 

(to lie included on occasion) 
Her heaving bluffs uplift their heads 
Along her winding river beds, 
And, pleasing far the traveler's view, — 
Well guard her Elkhom and her Blue, 

Encrowned with wood. 
And there, by landmarks, ne'er to fail, 
Fpon the ancient westward trail ; 
Or graven stone, securely placed, 
By eye observant may be traced 

Where wigwam stood. 

Her honored cities grow in wealth; 
In thriving commerce, public health; 
Her first, the gateway of the west; 
Her Omaha, that will not rest. 

Nor ttdve defeat. 
Her capital of worthy fame. 
That bears the mighty Lincoln's name, 
.Viid tlionsands of Nebraska youth 
E"or summons to her fount of truth, 

At learning's seat. 



Events do not necessarily lva,ve to be a century behind in the dim past to be 

-5;^ history. Nebraska is making history at a dizzy speed. Here lies an opportunity 

__ J for the chronicler not only to dig into the past, but from the raw material of the 

present form valuable foundations for future reference. There are men yet living 

in this vicinity who can remember the time when its connection with the human 

^ story would have seemed absurd. They h'a,ve seen the buffalo, the antelope, the 

\^ prairie dog and the coyote, the rattlesnake and the owl, and even the occasional 

^X friendly Indian retire before the explorer, the trader, the Mormons, the immi- 

-^^vT^ grants, the homesteader, the 'stalwart pioneer, and seen tlie endless prairies dotted 

^^ with the soddy, then the hut, and finally the luxuriant farms and prosperous towns 

^ of present Nebraska. " 1192537 

Full volumes have been written on the history of Nebraska, going into long, 
laborious detail upon each important topic. But so many readers feel that the 
task of familiarizing themselves with volume after volume is too exacting upon the 
time of the busy, hurried twentieth-century individual. So it has been considered 
expedient to introduce the county historical section of this work with an abridged 
review of the historical development of the State of Nebraska. That this may be 
V ; ecjually interesting to readers of all classes, be brief enough to be thoroughly 
examined, be systematized so that the salient facts can be found whenever reference 
is desired, this part of the work has been compiled by the ujidersigned and many 
others, whose work has assisted him in a synoptical, chronological and encyclopedic 

A work of this character is not the product of one person's research, energy or 
ideas, but a compilation of the earnest fruitful endeavors of many persons. Par- 
ticularly do the compiler and publishers wish to acknowledge thankful indebtedness 
to Hon. Addison E. Sheldon, secretary; Mrs. Clarence E. Paine, librarian; Albert 
Watkins, historian; and E. E. Blackman, curator of the Nebraska State Historical 
■Society; George E. Coudra, director of the Nebraska Conservation Commission, 
whose careful research of years '"'boiled down" in the Bulletin 14 of that depart- 
ment has gratefully been received as authority for a major portion of Chapters 
I, XIII and XIV of this work; and due gratitude and credit is extended to the 
work of Prof. Samuel Aughey and others who assisted in compilation of his- 
torical material in the early '80s, Harrison Johnson of Omaha, Prof. H. W. 
Foght, in his "Trail of the Loup," Gen. G. M. Dodge, and the authorities of the 
Federal Government for data furnished from their publications. 


Grand Island, Nebraska. 




















Brforc Ternhn-mJ Dai/s 











counties in the order of settlement settlement of individual communities 

— 1810—1819 — 1836 — 1844 — 1846 — 1853— omaha — brownville — nemaha 
city plattsmouth nebraska city 1854 1855 1856 — columbus — fre- 
mont — beatrice — grand island 1858 — 1860 1863 — 1866 — north platte 

1867 — 1868 — 1869 — schuyler — wahoo — blair — fairbury — Norfolk — 1870 
—1871-2— KEARNEY— 1873— 1877-1880— 1881-2— 1883 7(i 





ERNOR Izard's administration — governor riciiardson — governor black — 














1901) governors dietrich-savage administration (1901-3) governor 

mickey's administiutions (1903-1907) — governor Sheldon's administration 
(1907-1909) — governor shallenberger's administration (1909-1911) — 
governor aldrich's administration (1911-13) — governor morehead's ad- 
.ministrations (1913-1917) governor neville "s administration (1917-1919) 





OFFICERS 1 '^'3 















HER XEEDY 31 -■) 




couNTucs (taking about first seventy counties in alphabetical order) — Nebraska 























ODELL) 291 












SOIL 3;?^ 














LORA I. RUSSELL) :3(}(5 
























A. F. & A. M. — I. 0. O. F. G. A. R. W. R. C. K. OF P. — A. O. U. W. — R. N. A. 












STARS 560 


sketch included in court house dedication box — the first settlers — .tames 

baintek old settlers association — what became of thic old settlers 

(r. g. brown) .507' 











































RE-ORGANIZED— Edgar's roll of honor — clay county's first war loss — 













''To me it seems that to look on the land that was ever lifted above the wasted 
watei-s, to follow the shore where the earliest animals and plants were created when 
the thought of God first expressed itself in organic form, to hold in one's hand a bit 
of stone from an old sea-beach, hardened into rock thousands of centuries ago, and 
studded with the bemgs that once crept upon its surface or were stranded there bj' some 
retreating wave, is even of deeper interest to man than the relics of their own race, for 
these things tell more directly of the thought and creative acts of God."— Jean Louis 

Of course the history of a particular county named in tlie title of this work, 
and to the modern history of which the major portion of this work will be devoted, 
is inseparably wrapped into the history of the State of Nebraska. The history of 
the State of Nebraska cannot be creditably and comprehensively written without 
going further back than its early settlements and embracing a great deal of national 
histor}-, and perchance even delving back into realms beyond that. 

While it does not come within 'the scope of this work to dwell at any length 
upon the evolution of our state from the primal rock, it is necessary to go briefly 
that far back to correctly start the evolution of Nebraska, or any particular county 

Since the discussion of the geological formations of the state and the treatment 
of its natural resources and features belongs more correctly in the realm of science 
than of liistory, only such a treatment of such subjects will be made here as is 
necessary to carrj' out the chronologj' of the development of the state. 


Of course, the true history of Nebraska begins with the creative formation of 
this part of the Western Hemisphere that lies within the boundaries of this state. 
Likewise, the particular county involved most particularly in this narration gains 
its first sources from the same forces. 


Tti tlie aeons of time since the Creation, our planet, the Earth, has passed 
tlirough many marvelous chaJiges. We will make no effort, for it stands to reason 
that we could not, to define at what particular time the creative forces began their 
operation on our part of the Earth's surface. It is enough to point out briefly that 
the story of the Creation, as familiar to all readers of this work, brought forth 
another planet, the Earth. After countless ages slipped away and the first surface 
of the Earth, a universal, shoreless ocean, so the scientists tell us, cast forth folds 
of contracting firerock-crest and a surface crust appeared of the iirst dry land. In 
the Western World the first lands attributed by some scientists to have appeared 
were the wedge-shaped Laurentian Highlands, approaching the shores of Hudson 
Bay, and other strips of land were slowly emerging to the east of the present 
Appalachians, and also in the western part of the United States stretching from 
Colorado to California. 


It was during this first, or Archaean era, that the process of fomiation hereto- 
fore partially described took place. It was during that period that our globe 
started from its position as a companion star to the Sun to pass through its cooling 
process. The basaltic rocks are believed best to represent the physical character of 
the earth's crust at the beginning of recorded geological histon^ Some rocks of 
this epoch are still believed to exist in Canada, 40,000 feet thick, and at least 
as extensive in the Eocky Mountains and in the Sierras. So far as known, during 
this period, there was no dry land in Nebraska, but the territory' in which we are 
interested was probably still boundless ocean, so we can pass this period swiftly by. 


Before passing to the next era in geological history, it is aptly fitting that we 
pause a moment and define Geologj-, and briefly list the various geological periods. 

Geology has been defined as the poetry and romance of science. That alone 
would justify us pausing before we come to the more human manifestation? of our 
liistorical narrative. It reveals the causes that make the prosperity of a region pos- 
sible. It is the somber, undecorative, but highly essential material foundation to 
the structure we are going to build and weiive in this work. We cannot funda- 
mentally understand the structure of our state without a brief review of this phase 
of its development. 

As now best understood from its rock memorials, to which our scientists turn 
when making research for this part of our state's liistory, there have been five great 
geological eras, viz: The Archaean era, of which we have already briefly made a 
review; the Paleozoic, the ^lesozoic, tlie Ceiiozoic, and the Psychozoic. 


Tliis is called the Animal Life cm. Duriiii: tin's era the areas were gradually 
enlarged, and myriad forms of strange oriraiii-in- ,i]>|>ciired. (leoiogists usually 
divide this aeon into three distinct ages: The \-v .,( I ii\, riebrates — subdivided into 
the TTpi)er and Lower Silurian eras — when nimilnrltss s]>onges, corals, starfishes, 
molluska and other strange animal types dominated the ocean depths, and a few 


terrestrial plants apiwared; the Age of Fishes, or Devonian era, wlien tlie ocean 
plants swarmed with sharks, gar-pikes and turtle-like placoderms of huge size ; and 
the Carboniferous Age — subdivided into Subcarboniferous, Carboniferous and 
Permian eras — when coal plants grew and the coal measures were formed. 

During neither of the two first named — the age of Invertebrates or Fishes — is 
land attributed to have fonned in the area now occupied by Nebraska. Numerous 
islands are attributed to have dotted the present states of Illinois, Kentucky, Mis- 
souri and Iowa, so we are fast approaching the beginning of Nebraska. Likewise, we 
pass by the Subcarboniferous era, but it is in the Carboniferous era that dry land is 
believed to have appeared in Nebraska. It was one of the most wonderful ages in the 
history of the globe, for, during its progress, the thickest, mof^t extensive and most 
valuable of all the coal beds were formed. 

A few brief features of this era will be noted. 

Atmosphere. It has been described thus: "A murky, cloudy atmosphere, sur- 
charged with carbon-dioxide gas, enveloping the earth and giving it a uniform 
hothouse temperature." 

Physical Surface. From Pennsylvania to eastern Nebraska and central Kansas, 
it presented a changing view of vast jungles, lakes with floating grove islands, and 
some dry-land forests. 


This was the closing period of the Paleozoic aeon. The greater part of Nebraska 
was yet a part of the ocean bed, covered by turbulent waters. This age is really a 
transition period that ushers in the next great age. The Nebraska area formed in 
this age covers but a few more counties. Near Beatrice are many exposures of 
yellowish and bluish magnesian limestone, full of geode cavities, lined with calc-spar, 
indicating the Permian deposits. The Carboniferous Age was brought to a close 
by an upward movement of the Continent and this continued through the Permian, 
iintil much of the surface water was drained, making it impossible to preserve many 
memorials of its latter history. 


This, the age of Middle Life, has also been called the Age of Reptiles, "for 
never in the history of the earth were reptiles so abundant, of such size and variety, 
or so highly organized as then." This era included three periods: 1. The Triassic, 
so named for triple rockbeds in Germany; 2. The Jurassic, named after the Jura 
Mountains, in France ; and 3. The Cretaceous, from the Latin creta, chalk, referring 
to the formation of large chalk beds in England and Continental Europe. 

Early scientists tell us that careful examination fails to disclose the least trace 
of a Juro-Triassic deposit in Nebra.ska, so we can rather rapidly pass by tliis period. 
The same events that prevented a preservation of distinguishable traces of the 
Permian would, if continued, prevent the deposition of Triassic and Jurassic rocks 
here. So we may, in a large degree, be certain that during these periods Nebraska 
had become an extended land surface, and if so, there must have flourished here for 
countless centuries the peculiar vegetable and animal life of these times. The length 
of these periods can be ascertained only relatively. But basing an opinion on the 
fact that in the Rocky Mountain regions the sediments reach 3,800 feet in thickness — 


large portion of wliieli accumulate very slowly — the time involved in the accumu- 
lation of sediments in sea bottoms has been variously estimated from one inch to one 
foot a century, so at even the latter rate, the time involved may have been .'315,000 


This period marks the beguining of the end of thf ilesozoic Era. A general 
subsidence now set in which .'^eems to have embraced even the Rocky Mountain 
region. A marine bay broke northward from the Gulf of Mexico, and, before the 
middle of the period, covered Texas, Indian territoiy, and part of Kansas, and the 
western half of Nebraska and even much territory still northwestward. Thus the 
Rocky Mountain nucleus was again reduced to groups of islands, as in Paleozoic 
times, and all western Nebraska was once more, though now for the last time, a part 
of the ocean bed. Toward the latter part of this period the continent began to 
rise again. During this period of emergence, indeed a great geologic revolution 
was preparing. The entire Rocky Mountain region was thrown into a series of 
earth folds, the crust^of the mountain system was formed, with a drainage seaward. 
So Nebraska, from thence on has faced eastward, a part of the continental plain. 

The Cretaceous deposits in Nebraska are of vast extent and importance, so 
we will dwell a little longer upon them than upon some of the preceding periods. 
For convenience, they have been classified into several groups. 

The Dakota Group, so named by Hayden, because of its development southwest 
from Dakota City. It is found mainly in the present counties of Dakota, Wayne, 
Winnebago, Burt, Washington, Cuming, Stanton, Colfax, Dodge, Sarpy, Saunders, 
Butler, Seward, Lancaster, Cass, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, and occasionally in 
counties bordering on these. 

The Fort Benton Group. This lies conformably on the Dakota group. A few- 
exposures are present, from which some study of this group has been made. 
Among these might be mentioned — as seen below the mouth of Iowa Creek, in 
Dixon County, along the Missouri bluffs, and below Milford, in Seward County, 
in deep sections. 

The Niobrara. Group, extending from the mouth of the Niobrara River, dipping 
under the center portion of the state and reappearing again in the southwest, in 
Harlan County. It is the most extensive of the cretaceous groups in Nebraska. It 
is evidenced by deposits of impure chalk rock, varying from a grayisli white to a 
pinkish, bluish and yellow hue. These are in evidence especially in Knox, Cedar, and 
Dixon counties. An impure, yellowish siliceous limestone also evidences in Seward 
County, near Milford, and in Harlan County. 

The Fort Pierre Gnnip, lying above the Niobrara deposits, cropping out in 
Knox County, and other places, among which are as far west as Hitchcock County. 

And lastly, the Laramie Group, in the southwestern counties of the state. 
The Laramie Sea extended from southwestern Nebraska over the entire plain 
region of Colorado, and reached into New Jlexico, Wyoming and Dakota territory. 
The roek of the group is mainly composed of sandstones, shales and clays in 
Nebraska, but on the other hand this is the great coal-bearing group of the West. 
The great coal-bearing nature of almost all other parts of this group still fans the 
hopes of southwestern Nebraska toward the future discovery of coal. 

This Ijriiigs us to the last great aeon in geological history. 



The culmination of tliose physical changes that had heen in ]irogress during 
the whole of the latter portion of the cretaceous period inaugui-atcd the Ccnozoic Age. 
This age, or the Age of !Mamnials, is divided into two periods: — Tcrtlari/ and the 

The Tcrt'wry Age embraces three epochs, the Eocene, the Miocene, and the 
Pliocene. Of these only the latter two are represented in Nebraska. The period of 
marine waters over western Nebraska was now past. The Rocky Mountain revolu- 
tion, heretofore referred to, had left the Great Plains a part of the continent. But 
this plain was yet very near sea level, as evidenced plainly by the vast lakes of fresh 
water found both east and west of the Rocky Mountains. As stated above, there 
are no evidences of deposits of the Eocene epoch in Nebraska. The vegetable life 
of the Tertiary Age carried forward somewhat in advance of the periods heretofore 
described. Lesquereux has described forty-six species of plants, among which 
were giant cedars, eottonwoods, elders, birch, oaks, figs, magnolias and walnuts. It 
will be observed that some of these still belonged to warmer climates than we know 
of in modern Nebraska. The animal life of this period was distinctly mammalian. 
In the deposits evidencing the Tertiary Age, most wonderful remains of these 
animals are found by scientific researchers. 

The Miocene Tertiary Epoch was a gradual shading from the ])receding era. 
Conditions changed considerably during the Miocene times; for then a fresh water 
lake, or series of lakes, covered the western part of the state, receiving the drainage 
of the rivers that now have their outlet in the Missouri. Into this lake bed were 
carried broken down materials from the Rocky Mountain axis and the Black Hills, 
and from the higher lying Juro-Triassic and Cretaceous deposits. Hither, too, 
were gathered, as in a vast cemetery, remnants of all the vegetable and animal life 
of the epoch. A gradual uplifting of strata has left these lake bottoms high and 
dry. Erosion too has changed their contour much, accounting for many deep 
valleys, cliifs and buttes in endless variety in a non-mountainous country as 

"The Mauvais Terres of the French trapper, or 'Bad Lands,' are clearly defined 
in the White River country of northwestern Nebraska, and cover hundreds of 
square miles of southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. All 
through that region the story of the past is told in most forceful language. Banks 
full of fossil bones, baccolites, huge petrified tortoises, and fossil leaves tell how 
Nebraska looked in those times. Magnolias, oaks, palms, figs, maples, lindens and 
pines grew in wild luxuriance, and the giant sequoias of California grew on every 
liill. Droves of Miocene horses frequented the lake shores, the ancestral hog 
wallowed in the bogs, flocks of monkeys chattered in the treetops, and plain and 
forest were the haunt and breeding ground of droves of huge mastodons and 
wicked-eyed rhinoceroces and tapirs. Such were then the Ma-koo-si-tcha, or hard 
lands to travel over, as the Sioux nomad has seen fit to designate these regions." 

The Pliocene Epoch of the Tertiary Age is marked by a general enlargement 
of the old Miocene lake bed, particularly eastward and southwcstward. This strata 
so outreaches the Miocene, area that it overlies the Cretaceous in some central 
counties of the state. Much of the pliocene material is exceedingly coarse. Beds of 
conglomerate rocks made up of "waterwom pebbles, feldspar and quartz in masses, 


and some small pieces or chips of all the Archaean rocks'" overlie heels of much worn 
sandstones and clays. 

Sandhills. In many parts of the north central and northwestern Xebraska the 
upper beds have become decomposed and an immense amount of fine sand of a more 
or less stable nature has heaped up to form the famous "sand hills." Beneath 
lie strata of compacted gravel, then come limestone formations, yellow grits and 
layers of many colored sands and clays. 

The Quaterjian/ Period of the Pliocene Epoch brought a great change over the 
earth. In Nebraska lakebeds gradually drained out, and the semi-tropical conditions 
heretofore referred to began to change and fade away. Arctic conditions began to 
invade from the north, extending into what is now the North Temperate zone and 
pushing both fauna and flora equatorward. The Quaternary Period brought on the 
Glacial Period. For reasons more scientific than historical, the temperature of 
North America gradually fell so low that the snows of winter accumulated too 
rapidly for the summer's warmth to remove. The result was a glaeiation of vast 
land areas. 

The Glacial Period. A great ice sheet, formed by its own weight, slowly moved 
southward, enfolding the earth in its eniliraco. .V thick mantle of ice extended 
south of the southern line of Xebraska. and aiv^rdiiig tn A,i;assiz, at one time to the 
36th parallel. 

Traces of the ice movements arc aluindani. Ahuig the Missouri River wherever 
the superficial deposits are renio\ril the umlei-lyiiig limestone i)eds are worn smooth 
as glass and are full of glacial scratches and fiutings. Indications are that such 
a drift covered at least the eastern one-third of the state. Here are found the beds 
of blue clay so characteristic of this period: and in strata above these, drift gravel 
and clay; and next above, gravel and water worn boulders of various size. 

After countless ages of polar Avinter an era of general subsidence took place 
in the glaciated regions; through a great mass of general humidity, the ice mantle 
began to melt and recede. Immense floods raged in the valleys and the continent 
from the glacier edge to the gulf was converted into an inland sea, full of floating 
icebergs, which drifting aimlessly about, when they melted, dropped their immense 
loads of sand, gravel and boulders to the lake bottoms. These floods are reputed to 
have covered all of Nebraska except the Miocene beds of the White River region 
and the western uplands and a few of the highest crests of the Pliocene deposits, 
which lay too high to be reached by the engulfing waters. The Miocene or Pliocene 
formations, known to us by such names as Scott's Bluffs or Chimney Rock, must, in 
those times, have been so many islands set in a turbulent sea. 

The Loess Period followed the Glacial Period. It is claimed that during this 
melting period the Loup Valley of Central Nebraska was submerged entirely, and 
received the loess-clay deposits which have made it one of the most fertile regions 
in the state. The Loess deposits first received this name in America from Lyell, 
who observed them along the Mississippi in various places. The name had been 
used before in Europe to designate such materials in the valleys of the Rhine and 
Danube. Hayden called them bluff deposits, because of the peculiar configuration 
they give to the uplands that border the flood plains of the rivers. This deposit, not 
particularly rich in organic remains, but in some respects one of the most remarkable 
in the world, prevails over something like three-fourths of the surface of Nebraska. 
It ranges in thickness from .5 to l.-)0 feel. Even at N,.rth Platte. 300 miles west of 


the Missouri, on tlie south side of the riv.T. it varies in thickness I'min \-i:> to l.",n 

From the foregoing pages it will he noted in Xebraska that formations older 
than the Pliocene are nowhere exposed excepting the Miocene deposits in the "Bad 
Lands" of the Northwest. Up to this point, the narrative of the formation of the 
structure of our state has taken in account nothing concerning the presence of the 
human race within the confines of Nebraska. 

The foregoing geological review has been designed mainly to serve as a pictorial 
panorama of the evolution of the physical "territory" now Xebraska. Most of the 
statements made have been based upon the earliest geological observations of Prof. 
Samuel Aughey and his associates, of a period of forty years ago. In the inter- 
vening forty years, with the increasing facilities for research, Prof. E. H. Barbour, 
Prof. Geo. E. Condra and other geological students of Nebraska have made many 
new discoveries, and have in some instances discovered evidences which lead to vastly 
ditt'erent conclusions in relation to the location, initial appearance or manner of 
discovery of certain geological evidences, heretofore mentioned. The final results of 
these studies and changes and detailed observations from a practical viewpoint 
have been incorporated in "The Soil Survey." 

It is purposed now, to make a short statement of the purposes of the soil survey, 
and to incorporate at this point a part of the final findings of Nebraska's students 
of this phase of the state's life. This portion is furnished by The Nebraska Conser- 
vation and Welfare Commission (Bulletins 14 and 15, 1920). While this is also a 
slight departure from the historical narrative, it will serve for valuable practical 
purposes to many readers of this work. 


A considerable ])art of Nebraska has been covered by soil surveys made by state 
and federal departments. Persons dealing in real estate or expecting to buy laud in 
Nebraska will find useful information in the various county reports. 

Information regarding the surveys can be secured from the Conservation and 
Soil Survey Department of The University of Nebraska. Lincoln, or from the 
U. S. Bureau of Soils, Washington, D. C. 

Soil the Greatest Natural Eesource. Most Nebraska soils are deep, fertile, 
stone-free and easily tilled. Practically no artificial fertilizer is used. Humus 
is replenished' in crop rotation by growing legumes. These unusually favorable con- 
ditions, as compared with most states, are not as fully ap]u-eciated as they should 
be by those who own Nebraska land. 

Importance of Subsoil. Land sales should he made on a basis of careful 
examination and report. Jlore care should be useil \\vvr than in liuying a house 
or some securit}'. 

By G. E. Condra, Director Nebraska Conservation and Soil Survey 

Nebraska is large and diverse. The area is 7T.">l(l s(|uare miles. Tiie altituile 
ranges between about 840 feet in the southeaslei-n corner of Richardson County 
and 5,340 in the western part of Banner County. Surface features vary from 


sniootli plains to mountainous areas. There are more than 100 soils which consti- 
tute the state's most important resource. Persons wishing a fuller or more ex- 
tended discussion of soil resources of the state should secure soil bulletin 15 of the 
Conservation and Soil Survey. 

On a basis of soil and topography, Nebraska has three well defined regions — • 
the Loess, Sandhill, and High Plains. 


This region, so named on account of its subsoil, occupies about 4'2,000 S(iuare 
miles, or more than the soutlicast half of the state. It is a wcll-dcveloped agri- 
cultural region. 

The loess is well shown in many railroad cuts and excavations as at Omaha, 
Plattsmouth, and Nebraska City. There are three kinds, known as the plains, 
terrace, and bluff loesses. The deposits occur throughout the uplands of the Loess 
Region, except on the drift hills. 

The loess is generally, but t ii-diUMiusly, known as "yellow clay." Technically, 
it is mostly silt, containing some clay and fine sand. It is a silt loam. The most 
distinguishing features are the buff color, massive appearance, fine texture, and 
ability to stand vertically in bluffs and exposures. Loess forms the most even- 
textured, deep, fertile subsoil of our country. 

The Loess Region has eight kinds of land, known as loess ]>lains. loess hills, 
drift hills, bluff lands, canyon areas, bench lands, flood plains or liottoui lands 
proper, and small areas of wind-formed hills. 

Loess Plains, or the nearly level uplands of the region, have an area of about 
14,100 square miles. 'J'he largest and most typical plain is between Go.sper and 
Saunders counties. Its boundaries are the Platte, Republican, and Big Blue 
valleys. The surface of this plain is quite even, but modified to some extent by small 
drainage-ways, shallow basins, and low knolls. Some of the typical locations on this 
plain are David City, Fairmont and Holdrege. 

Smaller loess plains are located north of Ogallala, south of the Platte Valley at 
Sutherland, in southwestern Lincoln County, southeastern Chase County, north- 
eastern Dundy, southern Frontier, southwestern and southeastern Custer, part of the 
upland between Broken Bow and Sargent, northern Bufl'alo, small areas north of 
Ravenna, six miles south of North Loup, the upland between St. Paul and Boelus, 
west of Wolbach, southwest of Spalding, and the nearly flat uplands of Boone, Madi- 
son, Wayne, Cuming, Dodge, Douglas, Washington, and other northeastern counties. 
Several loess plains occur east of the Big Blue, as in eastern Seward, northern Gage, 
southern Lancaster, central Cass and eastern Johnson counties. 

All of the above plains are capped with 'i'y to 100 feet of loess subsoil. The 
land is stone free and very easy to till. The nuiin crojis are wheat, oats, alfalfa, and 
corn. The country is most beautiful. There are endless views of improved farms 
and towns. Land values range between $100 and $500 jwr acre depending on the 
position, ainount of rainfall, and improvements. For further information in regard 
to the loess plains consult the soil surveys of Fillmore, Dodge and Phelps counties. 

Loess Hill .Areas, 'i'liese. with iin area nf aluHit 11,900 square miles, occupy 
the nortlieasteni counties of tlie state and a nannw striji just west of the bluff belt 
of tlie Missouri farther south. 


Some of the river bluffs are quite high, as along the Missouri. From the top 
downward they contain loess, drift, and bedrock. The mantle rock materials dis- 
lodge from the steep slopes making laud slides below and vertical walls above. The 
bluff land belts are cut by iiKiny (Iccp ravines and small valleys and further modified 
by numerous ridges and sjiiirs. A< a whole, the toiMgraphy is rough. The principal 
soil is the Knox silt loam. 

Canyon Areas. These have a combined area of about 1,500 square miles in the 
western part of the Loess Region. Here the rough, steep sided valleys, called 
canyons, separate the upland into flats. Canyon areas occur in parts of Lincoln, 
Hayes, Frontier, Hitchcock, Gosper, Dawson, and Custer counties. Small slips or 
land slides are common in canyons having sides not so steep, and in ]ilaces the flat 
divides have been eroded iiway Icavijig areas of bold hills separated by \'-shaped 

jMucb of the s<iil of the canyon ai'eas is used for grazing. The small, flat 
divides are fanned tn wlical. oats, rye, corn, kafir, cane, etc. 

The Waukesha soils on-iipy most of the benches in the central and eastern 
counties, but are modified by small patches of liasin stiils of heavier texture and 
knolls having soils of lighter textuie. 

Sand is exposed along the cdi^rs of some terraces. This sand mixes with the silt 
from above or washes out upon ilu' \alley floor making fiiic samly loams. Persons 
wisliing descriptions of the liencli land soils should consult the surveys of Saunders, 
Dodge, Douglas, Wayne and other counties. 

The bench lands of Nebraska have high value because ol' their fertility and 
freedom from overflows. They are well suited to grain farming and especially well 
adapted to alfalfa raising. 

Bottom or Alluvial Lands are well defined in all river valley's and in most creek 
valleys of the Loess Region. The total area of such land, including flood plains, 
alluvial fans, colluvial slopes, and the poorly defined, low benches, is about 3,750 
square miles. 

Several alluvial soils have been mapped. Among them are those of the Wabash. 
Cass, Sarp\', Hall, Lamoure, and Judson series. Descriptions of these series may 
be found in the soil surveys of Washington, Xemaha, Richardson, Douglas, Wayne, 
Dodge, Gage. Polk, Fillmore, Hall, Phelps, and other counties. 

The Wabash silt loam, silty clay loam, and clay are common alluvial soils in the 
eastern part of the region. They are close textured, dark coloi-ed and unusually 
deep as shown on the flood plains of the Big Xemaha, Little Xemaha, Weeping Water, 
Salt Creek, Maple Creek, and Logan Creek, and most of the Big Blue and its tribu- 
taries. There are considerable areas of these soils in the Platte, Elkhorn, and 
Missouri River valleys. As a whole, the Wabash soils are very fertile. They are 
generally farmed to coi-ii rotated with small grain. Drainage is required at ])laces. 

The Cass series, reiircscutt'd Ly (ivf types, is Idack in the surface layer, linjwuish 
to grayish in the u])per subsoil and underlain liy a thick layer of sand. These 
soils are proditctive. 

The Lamoure soils, iciiroeiited by three type-^ mapped alonix the I'hitte in 
Dodge, Polk. Hall, and I'helps counties, reseudile those of the Wabash seri.-. but 
are less perfectly drained. They have a calcareous sidjscjil. whiili is lighter in color 
than that of the Wabash series. 

The Judson silt loam occurs as small areas principally on colluvial slojies at 


the foot of uplands and tcnaivs in viirioii^: parts of I)o(l.<;f. Hall, Polk and Phelps 
counties and is not subjct-t t" flixMlin^. It is deep, dark Ijrown and contains consid- 
erable humus. 

There are a number of other alluvial soils in the principal valleys of the Loess 
Region. As a rule, they become more sandy and carry less humus as one goes west- 
ward. The sandy soils are well suited to grazing and hay i)roduction and those of 
finer textures are well adapted to farming. 

Wind-formed areas occur at various places along the western border of the 
Loess Region and at a few places on the loess plains proper. They are represented 
by choppy hills resembling dunes and occupy about 900 square miles. 

In a general way, the larger wind-formed areas are a broader land between the 
loess and sandhill regions. Their soils vary in texture but are composed largely of 
sand and silt. The largest areas of these soils are north and northeast of Minden ; 
east of Hildreth ; north of Grand Island ; in western Boone County ; eastern Wheeler 
County; northwest of Greeley; northeastern Lincoln County; on the upland south 
of North Platte; ten miles southwest of Maywood. and at the east border of the 
sandhills in Dundy County. The land is used for grazing, production of native hay 
and for farming. 


This is the best defined soil region in Nebraska. The topography, drainage, 
soils and roads are very unlike those of the Loess Region to the east and the high 
plains on the west. 

The main body of the sandhills, in the n(irth-i-entral and central western parts 
of the state is known as the Sandhill Region. There are .several outlying areas, 
making in all about "20.01)0 s(|uare miles, occupied by hills, basins, valleys, marshes, 
and lakes. 

The soils of tlie sandhill areas are (piite sandy as a rule. They currelate with the 
land forms and are herein described as dunesand. dry valley Miils. and wet valley 

Dunesand is the typical soil of the sandhills. It occupies aliout two-thirds of 
the area of the region and is characterized by its mobility, low humus content, and 
uniform fine sandy texture. There is little difference between surface soil and 
subsoil. Both are light gray in color and of loose structure. They contain a very 
low percentage of silt and clay. The hill land, valued at from $8 to $20 an acre, 
is used nearly wholly for grazing. 

The State Survey classifies the hills under two divisions — first grade and second 
grade, depending upon the continuity of the grass cover and the amount of blow 

Plains. The most distinctive feature is the high plains, hence the name now 
u,«ed. The smooth ujdands are used for farming and grazing, iluch of the valley 
land is irrigated. 

The largest natural divisions of the High Plains Region arc Perkins Plains, 
1,6")0 square miles; Cheyenne Table, 3,275; Pumpkin Creek Valley, 455; Wildcat 
Ridge, 151; North Platte Valley, ],]00; Box Butte Table, 2,010; Niobrara Valley, 
240 (western part) ; Dawes Table, 1,400; Pine Ridge, 500: Hat Creek Basin, 390; 
White River Basin, 862; Springview Table, 642; Ainswortli Table, 284, and Holt 
Plain, 1,400. 


Perkius Plain is in Perkin?, Chase, and Keith counties and northeastern Col- 
orado, but has its most typical development in the northeastern part of Perkius 
County, Nebraska. It is bordered on the north by South Platte Valley, and on the 
east and south by sandhill and loess areas. The surface varies from nearly level 
to rough and is modified by a few sandhills. (See Chase County Soil Survey.) 

The soils of Perkins Plain are used for grazing and farming. The more sandy 
types, because of blowing, are devoted to grazing. Dry farming is practiced 
generally on the more stable soils. Wheat, rye, oats, kafir, corn, etc., are the main 
crops. Land values range between $15 and more than $100 an acre. 

Cheyenne Table is bordered on the north by the Pumpkin Creek and North 
Platte valleys and 'extends southward to and beyond Lodge pole Creek and the 
Colorado line. Much of the surface is a smooth table land, but some of it is undu- 
lating to rolling and rough. The eastern part, a spur between the Platte valleys, 
is capped with loess. The rest of the area, except on the valley floors, has residual 

The leading soil series on the table land is the Eosebud, represented by five types 
ranging between the silt loam ?.nd the gravelly sandy loam. The Kimball County 
survey classes these soils with the Sidney series, a name which has been discontinued. 
(See Cheyenne County Soil Survey.) 

Some of the steep slopes of Cheyenne Table have stony outcrops. The slopes, 
as along the Lodgepole, have sandy soils classed with the Cheyenne series. Similar 
materials occur in many sand draws. Finer textured soils of the Tripp series occur 
on the low terraces, principally in Lodgepole Valley. The bottom land soils proper 
of the valley are classed with the Laurel series. They have a light to pale yellow 
surface layer and a coarse, calcareous subsoil. Persons wishing a description of 
Cheyenne Table should secure the soil reports of Kimball, Cheyenne, and Morrill 

Certain soils in Cheyenne Table have been farmed successfully for a number 
of years, as in the vicinity of Dalton. The drouthy soils are best suited to grazing. 
Here, as elsewhere, the farmer should select a farm on a basis of the soils and 

Land values for Cheyenne Table range between $35 and $150 an acre. Wheat, 
oats, corn, cane, and potatoes are the principal crops. There is successful irrigation 
on higher priced land in Lodgepole Valley. 

Pumpkin Creek Valley, between Cheyenne Table and Wildcat I>iilj.'c. is tribu- 
tary to the Xorth Platte Valley. It is bordered by escarpment-like walls throughout 
most of its course, but is open near the Wyoming line and at the point of junction 
with the Platte. 

Long slopes are a feature of the valley floor. These are of two kinds, those 
formed by the weathering and erosion of the underlying Brule clay, and those l)uiit 
up of colluvial materials. The Brule clay slopes are rounded and billowy. They 
are eroded as small badlands at places. The colluvial slopes, occurring south of the 
creek in the eastern part of the valley, are comparatively smooth and terrace-like. 
The bottom lands of the valley consist of the flood plains bordering Punijikin Creek 
and its tributaries, and of low terraces. 

There are a number of soils in Pumpkin Creek Valley. Tliose with largest 
distribution are classed with the Epping, Bridgeport, Tripp, and Laurel series. 
The Epping silt loam was developed upon the Brule clay. It grades within a few 


inches from the yellowish-hrown Miiracc snil to the undisturbed Brule clay. The 
soils on the colluvial slopes arc clasMMl with the Bridgeport series represented prin- 
cipally by fine sandy loam and very tine sandy liiaiii. but there are small areas of 
fine sand. These soils drain well and arc easily w<irkc<l, l)ut arc subject to blowing 
where light textured. 

The Tripp soils occur on the benches, and range between the very fine sandy 
loam and fine sand. The drainage is good and most of the soil is suited for farm- 
ing. The Laurel soils occur on the tirst bottoms of the trunk and tributary 

The soils of Pumpkin Creek Valley are described in the Survey reports of 
Scotts Bluff. Banner and Morrill counties and in the Reconnoissance Soil Survey 
of western Nebraska, wdiicli may be secured from the U. S. Bureart of Soils, Wash- 
ington. The absence of a railroad in the valley has retarded development. The 
rough and sandy lands are grazed but much of the rest of the area is dry farmed 
and irrigated. Land values range between $10 and about $12.5 an acre. 

■ Wildcat Ridge is between Pumpkin Creek and North Platte valleys. It begins 
near the eastern end of 66-Mountain at the Wyoming line and extends eastward 
and southeastward about .50 miles, ending in Court House and Jail Rock south of 
Bridgeport. It rises from 400 to 700 feet above the bordering valleys in most of 
its course, but lowers eastward. Three prominent spurs project northward and 
northeastward toward the Platte ending in Scotts Bluff Mountain, Castle Rock, and 
Chimney Rock. A spur extending southward ends in Hog Back Mountain and 
Wildcat Mountain. Among the features of Wildcat Ridge are Signal Butte, altitude 
4,583 feet; Bald Peak, 4,420 feet; Scotts Bluff Mountain, 4.662 feet; Hog Back 
Mountain, 5,082 feet; and Court House Rock, 4,100 feet. Wildcat Ridge is scenic 
because of its relief, topography and pine forest. 

Much of Wildcat Ridge is rough broken land thinly covered with grass, shrubs, 
and pines. The less abrupt parts are occupied by the Rosebud stony fine sand and 
the more gradual slopes by the Rosebud loamy fine sand. Most of the soil is used 
for grazing. Some is farmed. 

North Platte Valley is Nebraska's most important irrigation country. The 
soils, topography, climate, and water supply -upport irrigation on a large scale. 

The valley is wide between the Wyoming line and the eastern part of Morrill 
County, beyond which it is narrow to the point of union with the South Platte. 
The upper parts of the valley sides are steep, stony land. Sandhills border the 
north side between Oshkosh and North Platte. The rough stony land on the south 
gives way below Lewelleii to loess bluffs. One feature of the valley is a large terrace 
on the north between the Wyoming line and northwest of Bridgeport. A long, 
bench-like colluxini loin'is the south >i(lc ..f most of th.' valley in Scotts Bluff 
and Morrill c<iiiiitics. The Hood i)lain ]iroper has a considerable area of silt loam 
to sandy and gra\elly soiN. ]nu't of wliich is ]X)orly drained. 

There arc sc\ci-,il soils in the North I'lattc A'alley, varying from silt loam to the 
nearly barren slopes of the roni^li broken hind, 'i'he soils with largest distribution 
are classcil with tlu' l-'.|iping. .Mitchell. I'.ridgcport, Tripp, Laurel, and Minatare 
series, which are dc-cribi>i| in the >oil ^urvcys of Scotts Bluff and ^forrill counties. 
Much of the a.i^ricnltnral land i> larmed uiuler irrigation and valued at $150 to 
$500 an acre. There is inlcnsiv.' farming of the best land. Among the main 
erojis are beets, alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye. corn, and potatoes. Vegetables and fruit 

titsi'oi;y of xkbt^aska lo 

of several kinds are grown. There are a nnniUer of good towns and cities in the 
valley served by the Burlington and Union Pacific railroads. 

Box Butte Table is between the North Platte and Niobrara valleys and Ijordered 
on the east by the Sandhill Region. The surface of the table ranges from nearly 
flat to undulating, rolling and rough, and is modified at places by small sandhill 
areas. The borders near the Platte and Niobrara are roughened by numerous 
ravines and canyons. 

The soils of Box Butte Table are classed with the Eosebud, Dnnlnp. Yale, Tripp, 
Laurel, and Valentine series. The Eosebud and Dunlap soils are similar to those of 
Cheyenne Table. (See soil survey of Box Butte County.) 

The Eosebud soils are scattered generally, but the Dunlap silt loam occurs 
principally to the w-est and southwest of Hemingford. It has a brown to dark brown 
surface soil 6 to 13 inches deep, underlain by a dark brown compact heavy silt loam 
which passes gradually through a grayish-brown, heavy silt loam into a lijiht, floury 
calcareous silt loam. The type occupies high, flat areas. 

High terraces in the vicinity of Alliance are capped with the Yale silt loam 
and very fine sandy loam which carry considerable clay. The low terraces of Snake 
Creek Valley are covered with the Tripp very fine sandy loam. 

The Valentine loamy fine sand occurs in the southern and eastern parts of Box 
Butte County. The principal soils on the bottom land of Snake Creek are the 
Laurel silt loam and fine sandy loam. They are poorly drained and alkalied in 

The Box Butte soils are used extensively for grazing and dry farming. They 
grow large yields of wheat, corn and potatoes. Land values are a little lower tlian 
on Cheyenne Table. 

Niobrara Valley has three distinct courses or divisions in Nebraska. Two of 
them separate parts of the High Plains, and the third division is in the northern 
part of the Sandhill Region. The western course of the valley lies between Box 
Butte and Dawes tables. It is narrow and bordered by rough lands near the 
Wyoming line, but widens considerably across Sioux, Dawes, and Box Butte coun- 
ties where there are bold, rdimdcd -niss cummviI -lopes and some broken stony land. 

The soil with largest distrilmiini liic xallcv hiIcs is the shallow phase of the 

Eosebud very fine sandy loam iiiiilcrliiiii with sand and stone. The valley floor is 
divided between low benches and the flood plain proper. The benches are occupied 
principally by the Tripp sandy loam and some fine sandy loam. The first bottom 
soils are the Laurel fine sandy loam and very fine sandy loam. 

Much of the western part of the Niobrara Valley is grazed. Parts are dry farmed 
and irrigated. 

The sandhill course of the Niobrara Valley is narrow and deep and closely bor- 
dered by sandhills and stony land. 

The lower course of the valley which is east of Valentine is narrow U-shaped to 
V-shaped. The slopes east of Keyapaha and Eock counties are more gradual and 
occupied in most of their parts by the Pierre shale, which forms a very heavy soil 
similar to that of the northern parts of Hat Creek and White River basins, but 
occurring under a heavier rainfall. 

The Pierre clay soils extend into the Ponea Creek Valley as far west as the 
town of Butte. They occupy much of the slopes bordering the Niobrara in Boyd and 
Knox counties. 

20 lIlsroliY OF XEBKASKA 

Dawes Table extends through Sioux, Dawes, and Sheridan countie:?. It is 
between j^iobrara Valley and Pine Eidge, but is not distinctly set off from the 
latter. The surface grades from a typical table in PiOMs Cuiiiity to a rolling surface 
in Sheridan and Sioux counties. Some parts are binlly (li>M( ti'd. 

The soils of Dawes Table are classed with the liuscbud and Dunlap series and 
resemble those of Box Butte and Cheyenne tables. The Rosebud very fine sandy 
loam and a shallow phase of the type occupy much of the rolling land. The Dunlap 
silt loam is on the flat table. Much of the table is successfully dry farmed to wheat, 
rye, corn, and potatoes. Lands are advancing in value. 

Pine Ridge is a mountainous country of irregular form, which in a general way 
lies between Dawes Table, Hat Creek, and White River basins. It was eroded of 
the High Plains. The north face of Pine Ridge is very steep at most places. It 
contains deep canyons, prominent cliffs, and long steep slopes. There are two 
escarpments or cliff elements in this face of the ridge, one of them lying just below 
the table land level and the other coming down to the borders of Hat Creek and 
White River basins. There are a number of park land areas between these rough 
parts of Pine Ridge. 

Much of the Pine Ridge country is covered w'ith scattered pine trees. The 
steeper slopes are bare and the more gradual ones are grass covered. Parts of the 
park land are farmed. Soils range between stony land and the Rosebud very fine 
sandy loam. 

Hat Creek Basin occupies the extreme northwestern part of the state and extends 
into South Dakota. It slopes away from Pine Ridge. The southern part of the 
basin is composed of long rounded slopes and low butte-like forms. The soils of 
this division are classed under two series, Dawes and Epping. They form the so- 
called yellow gumbo belt, which is less heavy than the name would indicate. The 
soils range between silt loam and fine sandy loam. 

The northern part of Hat Creek Basin is occupied by billowy hills developed 
on the Pierre shale. The soils range between clay and a clay loam. They are 
dark gray to brownish, quite thin at places, become very sticky when wet, and hard 
when dry. 

Much of Hat Creek Basin is gravel. Some is dry farmed and small areas are 
irrigated. Land values are held back because of inadequate transportation facilities. 

White River Basin is bordered on the south and west by the steep slopes of Pine 
Ridge, from which open many small valleys. The lower slopes of the ridge are long 
and billowy. They were formed on the Brule clay and part of the soil is classed as 
Epping silt loam. The more gradual slopes have a deep silt loam soil with a 
heavy middle layer. This type is called the Dawes silt loam. The two soils 
just named form a belt which reaches northward to White River in most of Dawes 
County and follows northwestward around the edge of Pine Ridge on the west. 
These soils become slippery, but not very muddy, when wet. They are grazed and 
successfully dry farmed. 

The northern part of White River Basin is the well-known dark gumbo land 
formed on Pierre shale. The soil is very heavy and sticky when wet. ilueh of it 
is grazed, some is farmed, principally to small grains. 

The valleys of White River Basin have narrow flood jdains and bencli laiuls. 
The bench land soils, which range between silt loam and fine sandy loam, are dry 
farmed and irrigated. 


Springview Table is in Keyapaha County, but extends short distances in Cherry 
and Boyd counties. Its surface is divided between hard smooth land, rough broken 
land, loose sandy soil, and small dunesand areas. Much of the hard land contains 
gravel at or near the surface. This table is grazed and dry farmed. Its isolated 
position is a drawback. 

Ainsworth Table, in northern Brown County, is nearly surrounded by sandhills. 
The surface is smooth to rough and divided between hard land and small areas of 
dunesand and Valentine soils. The soil with the largest distribution is the Rosebud 
fine sandy loam. A small area of silty clay occurs east of Bassett. Ainsworth Table 
is used for pasturage, the production of pative hay and for farming. It is well 
developed at places. Much prairie hay is produced here. 

Holt Plain, in northern Holt County, and southwestern Knox County, is the 
easternmost area of the High Plains Region. It is quite smooth on the upland 
proper, but rough near Brush, Eagle, Bird and Yerdigre creeks. Most of the plain 
is hard land, but parts are sandy. 

The soils with largest distribution are known as O'Neill loam, O'Neill gravelly 
loam and Yalentine sand. Sandy soils, which blow, occur in the north and north- 
eastern parts of the plain. 

The O'Neill loam is a dark gray to brown loam about 10 inches deep, underlain 
l)y 10 to 15 inches of light yellowish-brown clay loam, below which is a thick bed of 
sand and gravel. The gravelly loam type has a thin surface soil and coarse subsoil. 

In recent years, most of the best land of Holt Plain has come under successful 
cultivation. Some of the land has advanced to more than $150 an acre. AVheat, 
2orn, oats and native hay are the main crops. 

In Nebraska there has been found, indeed, many traces of a pre-glacial race of 
man. Discoveries of stone implements, and then chiefly flint arrow heads and spear- 
heads have been made deep, in undisturbed loess beds, side by side with bones of 
the mastodon and the huge elk of this period. So we may well presume that man 
roamed the Nebraska plains ages before the advent of the long glacial winter. 

Physical Features 

Before passing to a further review of the development, and especially of the 
populating, of Nebraska, we may well pause for a brief survey of her natural 
physical features. 


Nebraska, the Land of Shallow Water, lies at the geographical center of 
the United States, and is bounded by parallels 40° and 43' North and longitude 
95° 20' on east and 104° west. The extreme length of the state from east to west 
is 420 miles, and its breadth from north to south is 208.5 miles. In area it com- 
prises 77,510 square miles, or 40,606,400 acres, of which nearly 500,000 acres 
represent water. 


The state stretches from the foothills of the Rockies to the Missouri, having a 
gentle, gradual eastward slope. The western half averages more than 2,500 feet 
above the sea, to only 1,200 in the eastern half. 

22 IllS'l()i;V OF NKP.KASKA 

The highest point of elevation in the state is in northwestern Kimball County, 
at 5,300 feet. Seotts Bluff reaches fully (i.imn feet in height, while Richardson 
County is only 878 feet above the sea. 

Xebraska is drained entirely by the Missouri and its tributaries. In contrast 
to the past geological times, there are no large lakes in Xebraska, though there are 
many small lakes. Many springs, wells and artesian wells dot various parts of 
the state. A remarkable artesian well of Xebraska is the one in the public square 
of Lincoln, 1,050 feet dee]). At between 70 and 350 deep, strong brine' was en- 
countered, but it did not come to the surface. At 5(50 feet, saline water came up 
in a powerful current. Saline springs have been encountered, especially around 
Lincoln and in its neighboring county, Seward. 

The Missouri River. Xot only is this one of the chief rivers of the Eepublic, but 
by all means the chief river of Xebraska. Eising in Montana, at the eastern edge, 
and traversing Xorth and South Dakota, it comes to the north state line of 
Xebraska at a point approximately one hundred miles west of the east side of the 
state, and forming the entire eastern border of the state, borders Xebraska for 
something like 500 miles. It is deep and rapid. Its bed is moving sand, mud and 
alluvium, and nowhere in its Xebraska career has it a rock bottom. Professor 
Samuel Aughey, Professor of Xatural Sciences in University of Xebraska, in the 
early '80s, had described this stream: — 

"Its immediate banks, sometimes on both, and almost always on one side, are 
steep, often, indeed, perpendicular or leaning over toward the water. It is generally 
retreating or advancing from or on to one or other shore. It is the shore from 
which it is retreating that is sometimes gently sloping, while the one toward wliicli 
it is advancing is steep. This steepness is produced by the undermining of the 
banks and the caving in that follows. Xear the bottom there is a stratum of sand, 
which, being struck by the current, is washed out and the bank falls in. Many 
acres in some places have been carried away in a single season. The principal 
part of this 'cutting' is done while the river is falling. When the river is low 
and winding through bottoms fringed with, in many places, dark groves of 
Cottonwood and other timber, it is a sad, melancholy, weird stream. When it 
is on a 'big rise' however, and presses forward with tremendous volume and 
force toward the Gulf, it becomes surpassingly grand and majestic. It is now 
full of eddies and whole trees that have been dragged forward at a fearful velocity. 
It is never fordable. Boats of various kinds were exclusively used for crossing the 
river until the advent of the railroad bridges at Omaha and Plattsmouth. The 
water is always muddy or full of finely comminuted sand, the current rapid and 
full of whirling eddies. It is a dangerous stream to trifle with. So well under- 
stood, however, is this feature of the Missouri, that no more persons are drowned 
in it than in other rivers of corresponding size. * * * jjad it not been for the 
Missouri, the settlement of this region would have been indefinitely delayed. As 
the Missouri is navigable for 2,000 miles above Omaha, it was a great highway for 
traffic with the mountain regions of the Dakotas and Montana. Since the building 
of railroads, its business has fallen off." 

The riallc Rirrr is the next river in importance to the 'Missouri. Its head- 


waters originate in the mountains, and some of them in lakes fed by the ever-lasting 
snows. By the time it reaches Nebraska it is broad, shallow, sandy, but still 
flows with a rapid current. It flows through the whole length of the state. It is 
not navigable, but has been bridged at all of the important towns along its course. 
The south fork, commonly called the South Platte, enters the state from Colorado 
and flows eastward to North Platte at which point it joins the north fork, called 
the North Platte, which comes in from Wyoming, near latitude 42. There is 
usually a good volume of water in the stream, though at times of low water it can be 
forded. The average volume of water at North Platte is greater than at its mouth, 
but its various tributaries, Elkhorn, Papillion, Shell Creek, Loup and Wood rivers 
bring in a new supply. 

The Eeintblican River, the next important stream, rises in the Colorado plains 
near Range 49 of Sixth Principal Meridian west. At the state line, it is only a 
few feet across. Seven miles east it picks up Arickaree, and becomes shallow, sandy, 
and in. places rapid. Various tributaries then joining it are : Frenchman's fork, 
near Culbertson ; Driftwood Creek, near McCook ; Sappa Creek, near Oi-leans ; 
Beaver Creek, near Orleans; the latter three coming from the southwest; Red 
Willow and Medicine creeks come in from the northwest. An immense number of 
creeks flow in every few miles especially from the north. It might be noted that 
the general level of the Republican River is approximately 350 feet below that of the 
Platte. This descent from the Platte gives the Republican the natural drainage 
of the intervening territory. This river, unlike the Platte, increases regularly in 
breadth and volume from its source to its exit from the state in Nuckolls County, 
slightly over a hundred miles west of the southeastern corner of the state. It comes 
in from Kansas and goes back into Kansas. 

The Niobrara River also flows almost entirely across the state, coming in from 
Wyoming and entering the Missouri River near the town of Niobrara. From its 
source to its mouth it is 460 miles long. Its source is 5,100 feet above sea level. It 
is very narrow at its entrance into the state, but gradually widens. For 189 miles 
it continues through a canyon of high and steep walls. Upon emergence from this 
canyon, it becomes a broad, rapid and sandy stream. It has some tributaries of im- 
portance. First, on the south side is the Verdigris, in Knox County, and joins the 
Niobrara six miles from its mouth. There are a great many small tributaries 
between the Verdigris and the Keya Paha. Snake River, joining in Cherry County 
■is the next important tributary. The Keya Paha, coming in from the north, is 
about 125 miles long. 

The White River flows tliniu^h iKirtbwesfcni Nebraska. It comes in from 
Wyoming and flows northeasterwanl, eiiteiing South Dakota a littk' east of longi- 
tude 103. It has many small tril)utaries in its course through the corner of 

The Elkhorn River is a very beautiful river. It rises west of Holt County. 
In the region of its source, the valley widens to a very gi-eat breadth, and in that 
vicinity are many small fresh-water lakes. Within a certain region, eigliteen by 
twelve miles square, there are at least twenty of these lakelets, most of whicli drain 
into the head waters of the West Fork of the Elkhorn. In the eastern border nf 
Madison County this stream receives the North Branch of the Elkhorn, which 
rises in the southern part of Knox County. That fork originates in a region of 
innumerable small springs. The Elkhorn empties into the Platte in the western 


part of Sarpy County. Its most important tributary is the Logan, wliicli risos 
principally in Cedar County. Tliis river is a family of branches so numerous it is 
hard to distinguish which is the main ri\ei-. A junction is finally fornuMl with the 
Elkhorii in eastern Dodge County. 

The Loup Rivers, form the other important tributary of the Platte, not here- 
tofore mentioned. The whole length of the Middle, or main Loup, approximates 
250 miles. It rises a little east of the 102 parallel and fifty miles from the north 
line of the state. Leaving Cherry County, it traverses Hooker, Thomas, Blaine, 
northeastern Custer, southwestern corner of Valley, Sherman, Howard, Nance and 
Platte counties. Its first important tributary is Beaver Creek and then Cedar Ttirer, 
which starts up in Garfield County comes on down through Wheeler and Boone coun- 
ties to its junction in Nance County. 

The North Loup Fiver rises from a small cluster of lakes, a little east of the 
101 Meridian and 4.5 miles from the north line of the state, in Cherry County. 
This region is likewise studded with small, but beautiful lakes. Calamus Creek, 
which joins the North Loup in Garfield County, near Burwell, is the first important 
tributary. The entire length of this Loup until its junction with the main or 
Middle Loup is about 1.50 miles. Professor Aughey remarked some forty years ago: 
"Perhaps there is no more interesting and beautiful valley in all Xebraska than the 
North Loup. Corn ami ilic crrcal grains, as elsewhere in the state, are most 
successfully cultivated ."" 

On the south side of the Main or Midille Loup, the main tributaries are Mud 
Creek, which rises at Broken Bow and run^ down into Buffalo County, and the 
South Loup. The latter rises in Logan County, just west of the border of Custer 
County, and traverses that great county, on across wide Buffalo County, and joins 
the ]\Iiddle Loup in Howard County. The Loup Rivers have a wonderful rush of 
waters that have led to their being pronounced by able authorities as among the 
greatest potential electro-hydro producers in the country. 

The Nemahas early became noted rivers in Nebraska. Tlie north branch of 
the Nemaha runs in a southeasterly direction diagonally thro\igh Johnson and 
Richardson counties, until it unites with the main river in that county. Its length 
is about 60 miles and it increases regularly in size. 

The main Nemaha rises in Pawnee County, takes a southerly direction into 
Kansas, then turns northeast into Richardson County and then flows a little south 
of east, until it unites with the Missouri near the southeast corner of the state. 
Its length is but sixty miles but it receives so many tributaries that its magnitude 
at its mouth equals that of many larger and longer rivers. The Little Nemaha is 
a smaller addition of the Big -Nemaha. 

The Blues are the important rivers of the east-central part of the state, of 
those running northerly and southerly. The main branch, being 132 miles long, 
drains eight counties, among the best in the state. The Middle Fork of the Blue 
rises in Hamilton County, traverses York County and unites with the North Blue 
at Seward. Its length is about sixty miles. The West Fork unites with the Main 
Blue five miles above Crete, in Saline County, after coming in through York and 
Seward counties. School Creek, Beaver Creek and Turkey Creek are important 
tributaries. Professor Aughey described the Blue Rivers, as follows: "All of these 
Blue Rivers and their tribninries are remarkable for the amount of water which 


is doubtful whether the miuil coukl imagine a section better supplied with rivers, 
creeks, and rivulets, giving an abundance of mill power and other water privileges." 
There is still another Blue Eiver that rises in Adams County, and comes down 
through Clay and Thayer counties and passes out of the state in Jefferson County, 
and, in Kansas, finally unites with the Big Blue. 

There are yet many other rivers which have not been gone into with any detail 
of treatment. Among these are the Bow rivers in northeastern Nebraska, mainly in 
Cedar County. Salt Creek, named from the number of saline springs that drain into 
it, and which circles about the city of Lincoln; Weeping Water, in Cass County; 
the Wahoo. in Saunders County; Elk Creek, in Dakota County; and Simth and West 
Iowa Creeks, in Dixon County. 


By George A. Loveland, Meteorologist, U. S. Weather Bureau 

Tlie principal elements of climate are temperature, hunndity. rainfall, sunshine, 
wind, and storm. For Nebraska, they are as follows: 

Temperature. The average temperature of this state decreases from east to west 
ami south to north. The mean is .51° in the southeast, 50° in the southwest, 48° 
in the northeast, and about 45° in the northwest. The highest temperature on record, 
115°, was in 1918, and the lowest, 47° below zero, in 1899. From 1876 to 1918, a 
period of forty-two years, the average temperature of the state was 48.6°. 

January, the coldest month, has a mean temperature of 28.1°, being 25° in the 
southeast and about 20° in the north. February and December are slightly warmer. 
July is the warmest month, although the hottest days of the year may occur in June, 
July, August, or September. August is slightly below July and thereafter the decline 
in temperature is gradual. Summer evenings usually are cool compared with mid- 

Frosts. The growing season (free from frosts) is about 160 days in the south- 
eastern counties and 130 days in the northwest. Spring approaches the state from 
the southeast and fall and winter enter from the northwest. 

Light frosts sometimes occur throughout May and in early June in the north- 
western counties. The la.=t killing frost of spring in the eastern counties is usmilly 
in late April or early in May. It is from May 10th to loth in the northern and 
western parts of the state. 

Humidity. The relative humidity averages about 70 per cent in Nebraska. It 
is highest in mornings and lowest in the early afternoon. It is higher in winter 
than in summer. The western counties have a lower humidity than the eastern 
counties. There is a close relation between the relative humidity and the amount of 

Rainfall. The average rainfall for the state between 1876 and 1918 was 23.64 
inches. The eastern counties have more precipitation than the western counties. 
There is a gradual decrease in amount from east to west. Tlu' annual rainfall for 
dillVrent parts of the state the past forty-twn years is as lollows : 

Southeastern part 29.87 
Northeastern part 27.43 inches. 
Central part 24.49 inches. 


Southwestern part 23.03 inches. 

Northwestern part 19.11 inches. 

Western part 17.72 inches. 

The records show some fluctuation in tlio aimunit of rainfall hy periods of years, 
but no definite and reliable statement can be made regarding the distribution of 
these periods and their probaljle occurrence in the future. 

The rainfall occurs principally in the spring and summer months. The wet 
season, May to July, inclusive. Las 46 per cent of the annual rainfall. The heaviest 
and most evenly distributed rainfall comes in June and decreases to January, which 
has less than oue-si.xth that of June. The June rainfall is over 5 inches in the 
southeastern counties, and less than 3 inches in the west. The driest period of the 
year, so far as the effects of precipitation and eva^wratiou on crops is concerned, is 
apt to be in July and August. 

The annual monthly rainfall for the state from 1876 to 1018. wliich shows the 
heaviest precipitation during the growing season, is as follows: 

January -52 inches 

February 72 inches 

March 1.11 inches 

April 2.41 inches 

May 3.63 inches 

June 3.81 inches 

July 3.43 inches 

August 2.81 inches 

Septeml)er 2.13 inches 

October 1.57 inches 

November 68 inches 

December 74 inches 

The dry season comes from November to February with 11 per cent of the annual 
amount of moisture. Most of the precipitation of these months is snow, which 
averages 28 inches, making 21/2 inches of water. The average amount of snow 
increases from November to January and February. 

Sunshine. The state, as a whole, has a comparatively large amount of sunshine. 
The cloudiness is greatest in the eastern and southeastern counties and comes in 
association with rain and snow. 

Winds. The average wind velocity, though not exactly known, is about 9 miles 
per hour for the state. It averages highest in the western counties and lowest in 
the southeast. March and April are the windiest months, with averages of 10.6 and 
11.5 miles per hour. July and August, the calmest, average 7.4 and 7.7 miles per 
hour. The highest velocities of record have occurred in thunder storms. The 
ma.ximum has iiccn al»iii( so miles pei- lioiir. 

The prevailing wind dii-eitinn is fi-iun llie north and luirtlnvcst from October to 
May; from the .south :inil snuUien>t in Mny, .hine, and .Inly ; and from the south from 
August to September. 

Storms. Cyclones are the in(i\(^inents (if air n\er large areas which bring 1o 
Nebraska the rainfall, change in cloudiness, and tennierature and sonuHinu'S develop 


storm couditiuiis, especiallj' in tlie southeastern part. Tornadoes coming also in 
association with the cyclones are not very common. Far the largest amount of 
damage done in the state was during the year of the well-known Omaha tornado. 

Destructive hail storms are of record. The effect is over small areas. 

Healthful Climate. Viewed as a whole, the climate of the state may be regarded 
as healtliful beyond the average. Under the wide range of conditions in elevation, 
between altitudes of the 840 feet and 5,340 feet, and because of the range in tem- 
perature, sunshine, humidity, cloudiness and precipitation, one may select a place in 
the state to suit the rtMjuired conditions as nuiy relate to healthfulness. 


By Robert H. Wolcott, Head of Department of Zoology, The University of Nebraska, 

and Frank H. Shoemaker, of the Xebraska Conservation and Soil 

Survey, The University of Nebraska 

To the red men who roamed these plains and prairies before the advent of the 
whites, the territory which is now Nebraska formed part of a veritable happy hunt- 
ing ground. To them the numerous herds of buffalo, deer, elk and antelope which 
dotted the open country in all directions, or which sought the protection of the 
fringes of timber along the streams, together with the vast numbers of water fowl 
which frequented both the streams and prairie lakes and sloughs, formed very nearly 
an all-sufficient resource. The flesh of this game provided them with meat, the hides 
both clothed them and furnished them with shelter, and many articles were made 
from fur, feathers, horns, or other parts, which meant to them luxury in personal 
adornment, in the pomp of tribal ceremonials, and even in the performance of 
religious worship. 

The presence of these same animals was the attraction which brought the first 
white settlers to this region, these being the trappers, who came to themselves collect 
furs, and the traders, whose object was to barter various manufactured articles 
for the skins and furs of the Indians. These were followed by the gold-seekers whose 
wagon-trains wound wearily across the plains toward the Eldorado in the West, 
oblivious to the potential agricultural wealth of the country they traversed, but 
keenly appreciative of the opportunities which the abundance of game presented. 
Gradually permanent settlements were established, and many a pioneer of the great 
army that was to follow, once the fertility of the soil had become generally known, 
found in the game a means of maintenance in time of hunger and destitution. 

The abundance of game and ease of procuring it led to thoughtless waste. The 
commercial value of buffalo hides (cmiibHl |li,. , u|ii(lity of men who engaged in the 
slaughter of these aninuds by thouMUMl-^. -in|.|Mii- tiir carcass of its hide and leaving 
it to rot on the ground; the skins wrir so mini.idiis in the east a half-century ago 
that the buffalo robe became an indispensable adjunct of a sleigh ride. The herds of 
wild animals were rapidly exterminated and immense numbers of cattle took their 
place on "the range"; more recently the open liiii-c lias in its turn disappeared and 
the barbed wire fences of farms and rancln - i.hI.iv i Mmd clear across this state. 

But long after the larger game mammals had iin n destroyed, countless numbers 

28 Hisroi.'v (>!•■ \i:i;i;aska 

of ;r;iinc hinls Iraveix'il our tirritmy twice a year in their migrations and many 
niaile llieir lionies liere and reaiiil their young. Nebraska became the mecca for the 
sportsmen of the middle west, and even attracted many from the far east. Market 
hunting became a profitable employment and a considerable number of men 
engaged in it not only in Nebraska but in neighboring states. The supply of 
feathered game seemed limitless and no voice was effectively raised against the 
slaughter, which went on ceaselessly from British America to the Gulf with hardly 
an intermission even in the breeding season. Game laws were placed among the 
statutes of Nebraska as far back as 1860, but for a long time thereafter were rarely 
enforced. In 1900, Congress passed the Lacey Act, which was aimed to check the 
traffic in game, and began a nation wide campaign in favor of game conservation. 
The Nebraska Legislature of 1901 enacted admirable laws, including provisions 
for the appointment of a force of wardens, and since that time a strong public 
opinion has been developed in this state in favor of their strict enforcement. 

In many parts of the country, however, particularly in the South, public senti- 
ment was not aroused and the wasteful slaughter continued. Song birds, not in any 
sense game, and of too great value as enemies of insect pests to be killed for food, 
were being destroyed in these states, often in large numbers. The "pump-gun" and 
the automatic added greatly to the effectiveness of the individual hunter and with 
the increase of the number of hunters due to increasing population, the efforts of the 
states in which an enlightened public sentiment did exist and in which well devised 
game laws were being successfully enforced, were insufficient to cheek the rapid 
diminution in the numbers of our migratory game birds, which threatened their 
complete extinction in a future not far distant. At this juncture the national 
government again interposed and the passage of the migratory bird law, the pro- 
visions of which have been more recently incorporated into a treaty with Great 
Britain, has laid the foundation for nation wide and uniform restriction of the 
shooting of game with a view of conserving this resource that future generations 
may share in its utilization. 

No argument is needed to show that the continued presence of the vast herds of 
large game mammals was incompatible with the settlement of our state and the 
development of its agricultural resources. But the existence of an abundant game 
bird population is not inconsistent with the highest degree of cultivation of the soil 
and the maximum utilization of all our natural resources. No sane man would 
place the welfare of wild animals before the interests of human society, but on the 
other hand no wise man would neglect to utilize to its fullest extent the natural 
wealth of the region in which he lived or subscribe to a spendthrift policy which 
would result in the waste by his generation of resources which might be botli enjoyed 
in moderation by liiniself anil transmitted unimpaired to his children and to his 
children's cliiblrcii. 


Former Nebraska game inaninials, now extinct, impounded, or ]iroiecieil Ibrongh- 
out the year. 

The Elk was formerly found alnuidantly in all parts of the state, but disai)iHMred 

"Many of the st-atemcnts here given are taken fr 
mats of Nebraska," by Prof. M. II. Swenk, pnblisli 
Nebraska Academy of Sciences, September, 1908. 

IIISTOltY OF X1:1'.1;AS1\A 2!> 

111 tlie early "ISOs. A fine herd is now iiiaintained on the game reservation east of 
Valentine, and there are a few more in captivity in the parks of Omaha and Lincoln. 

The Plains White-tailed Deer was formerly common in all the wooded valleys 
of the state, but settlement of the country has caused its gradual extermination, 
until at the present time it is found only in the northwest corner, in the wildest 
canyons of the Pine Eidge country, and in very limited numbers. Though protected 
In' the game laws throughout the year, this animal is marked for ti>tal extinction 
within our borders, 'as has been the case with the whiti'-tailcd dcrr in many sections 
east of Xebraska. 

The Black-tailed Deer was thc^ com n .leer ,,( early Xebniska. round alike in 

woodland, plains, prairie and saiulhill regions, hut it has now almost wholly disap- 
peared. One small band of about twenty-five animals still e.xisted in the sandhills of 
the Dismal Elver region about ten years ago, and at that time was being given all the 
protection possible by the ranchers of the vicinity : the recent history of this herd is 
not known. 

The Pronghorn Antelope was originally found over the entire area of the state, 
but is now heard from only as small bands are reported from time to time in the 
extreme western part of Nebraska, most of them perhaps having crossed our bouudarj' 
from Wyoming or Colorado. There are, however, stationary bands in Sioux County, 
nearly due west of Alliance, and in Garden County, near Crescent Lake. A young- 
one was ob.served near Sidney in 1918. 

The Bad Lands Mountain Sheep was found in small numbers on Court House 
Eock, in Scotts Bluff County, until the late '70s, and one animal of this species was 
noted as far east as Birdwood Creek, near North Platte. 

The American Bison, or Buffalo, was formerly present in enormous numbers in 
all parts of Nebraska. The last of the wild animals were killed in the early '80s. 
A .small herd is im])onnded in the game reservation near. Valentine and is in a 
thriving condition. This animal affords the most prominent example of the waste 
of a natural game resource. It existed previous to the middle of the last century to 
the number of many millions, scattered over the whole of the plains region. Killed 
in gradually increasing numbers up to the 'GOs, it was systematically exterminated 
in the '70s and early '80s. Only the hides were utilized, and of these on the average 
only one-half were saved ; most of the meat was wasted. Though the animals were of 
an inoffensive disposition, and the calves were easily domesticated, no attempts seem 
to have been made to bring the sjiecies under domestication till after its destruction 
was practically complete. 

The Black Bear was formerly found in Nebraska, jirincipally in the iiorthei-n 
part, but never commonly, as it is a forest animal. 

The Plains Grizzly Bear is said to have occurred in the extreme northwest corner 
of the state in early days, but no definite records exist. 

Wii.n Life Eesgurces 

This group of natural assets receives too little attention. The only policy for 
several years, if it can be called such, has been to destroy the wild life without 
regard to consequence. The time has come, however, when wanton destruction should 
cease that progress may be made along lines determined by technical knowledge. 

The destruction of certain kinds of wild life means waste which cannot be 


replaced with domesticated forms. There are in Nebraska a uumber of animals 
which serve continuall}' and successfully and which the people destroy without regard 
to their usefulness. They are the animals which keep down insects, mice, gophers, 
and rats. Most of the song birds, the quail, several of the hawks, the owls, toads, 
bats, and some of the snakes assist in maintaining a condition necessary for agri- 
cultural development. Among the wild life resources, aside from the animals which 
maintain the biological balance, are grasses, forest, fruit, fish, game, and fur- 
bearing animals. 


By Raymond J. Pool, Professor of Botany, The University of Nebraska 

When white men first saw the area now included in the state of Nebraska, the 
landscape was dominated by a vast, rolling stretch of native grassland, whereas today 
much of the state, and particularly the eastern part, is farmed and it is difficult to 
find a piece of prairie in the agricultural sections large enough to give one a fair idea 
of the original conditions. Large areas of prairie occur, however, in the central and 
western counties. 

Prairie a Resource. Wherever the prairie sod is broken and the soil cultivated 
for a few years, the wild native grasses and other native plants disappear. Those 
which remain are to be found only along the fences and the roadsides. We would 
not deplore this destruction of the original prairie vegetation because of the important 
agricultural pursuits which have been developed by the pioneers and their descend 
ants. But the high price of meat directs the thoughts of a larger proportion of 
our people than ever before to the question of meat production and to the circum- 
stances immediately surrounding the live stock industry. 

Enormous supplies of essential food products are being produced by the herds of 
live stock which thrive upon the native forage of the remaining grazing land, but 
days of the open range are past and the stock raising industries are rapidly becoming 
more highly specialized as is farming in general. 

Much of the natural grazing land of western Nebraska has come into the hands 
of large operators, who face the problems of efficient ranch management. This 
brings them to a consideration of native and introduced pasture plants and the best 
methods of handling the same. Much of the grazing country is covered by the finest 
natural forage, yet considerable areas of it go to waste every summer, while some 
also is abused and destroyed by over-grazing. Most of the natural grazing land 
is in the Sandhill Region which is admirably adapted by nature for cattle raising. 

Many Grasses in Nebraska. The natural forage problem is largely one of native 
grasses and how to iitilize them. Some lands of central and western Nebraska are 
peculiarly rich in the number and value of grasses and other forage plants, including 
many species of sedges, which resemble true grasses so closely that few people dis- 
tinguish them from the grasses. 

Nutritious Grasses. The two most nutritious grasses of the whole list are 
Buffalo Grass and Blue Grama Grass. These are widespread and abundant on the 
hard land of the central and western counties where they form a dense sod. The 
Sand Grama is quite common on sandy soil throughout the Sandhill Region. The 
above grasses are not only fine for summer forage, but they may also afford winter 
pasture. 1 have seen hundreds of acres covered with a fine stand of these grasses that 


were not being pastured at all, a condition Avhicli should not obtain where the price 
of meat is so high. 

The Buffalo and Grama grasses are low, densely growing forms quite different 
from the tall prairie grasses which once dominated eastern Nebraska, and which 
prevail at the present time in the sandhills. There are about 125 species of grasses 
growing in the sandhills, among which the following are prominent: Little Blue 
Stem, Turkeyfoot Grass, Indian Millet, Sheep Fescue, Poverty Grass, Eedfield's 
Grass, Blow-out Grass, Sand Grass, Prairie Grass, Low Blow-out Grass, and Triple 
Awn Grass. 


By G. E. Condra, Director Conservation and Soil Survey . 

Nebraska has more forest, native and planted, than is generally supposed. The 
natural forest occurs along streams, on rough lands bordering valleys, and on the 
rough uplands of the western and northwestern counties. The distribution is scat- 
tered and there are no exclusively forested areas. 

Broad-leaf Trees. The principal trees of valley bottoms are willows, cottonwoods, 
elms, hackberry, boxelder, and green ash. 

Willows are represented by a number of species, of which the sandbar, black, 
almond-leaf, and glossy forms are the most common. 

Cottonwoods are widely distributed. The broad-leaf form has the greatest range ; 
the lance-leaf form is in some of the canyons of Pine Ridge and Wildcat Eidge, and 
the western or narrow-leaf cottonwood is reported in Banner County. 

Elms are represented principally by the white elm and the red elm, but the cork 
elm has limited distribution. 

Hackberry occurs on most of the alluvial lands of the state in association with 
elms, cottonwoods, and other broad-leaf species. 

The boxelder is one of the principal stream-side trees of the state. It is quite 
plentiful in most of the bottom land forest, and leads in numbers at many places. 

Green and red ash are common in many valleys in association with boxelder and 
other trees, but the white ash is restricted to the lowlands of the eastern counties. 

The soft maple grows on the lowlands of counties bordering or near the Missouri, 
and the hard maple is found in some planted groves. 

The sycamore is represented on the alluvial lands of the Missouri and its tribu- 
taries from Omaha southward. There are only a few trees. 

The honey locust and the Kentucky coffee tree are found in the natural forest 
along the Missouri and the lower course of the Niobrara, and the former occurs also 
in the lower part of the Republican Valley. 

The buckeye is in the extreme southeast corner of the state. 

The blufflands of the eastern counties support oaks, basswood, hickories, and a few 
other trees. 

The oaks are represented principally by the red oak and the bur oak, the latter 
having wide range on the rough valley sides of the eastern, southern, and northern 
parts of the state. Some of the best stands are in the Niobrara and its tributaries, as 
at Wood Lake, Long Pine, and Valentine. This tree is in practically pure stands at 
some of these places. The black oak, scarlet oak, white oalv, swamp white oak. 


chestnut oak. ami the blark JM<k oak have hcoii idcntifuMl in the joutlirasteni corner 
of the state. 

Hickories arc repre-sented liy four speeie.s, but the sliellliark and bitternut are 
most common. They occur on the flood plains and rouyh lands bordering valleys of 
the southeastern counties. 

Mountain maple, black bireli, and a few representatives of quaking aspen occur 
in the canyons of Pine Ridge. 

The paper birch grows on some of the steep slopes of the Niobrara Valley, the 
best stands being about ten miles east of Valentine. 

Pines and Cedars. Pines occur at a number of places in the western part of 
the state. Growing among the pines are red cedar and a few junipers. Most pines 
occur in the Pine Ridge, Wildcat Ridge, North Platte and Lodge Pole areas, 
occupying about 500 square miles. The trees are at their best on Pine Ridge, 
being 12 to 24 inches in diameter and 40 feet or more high. The trees are quite 
free from disease and the timber is of good, quality. Pines are also found in good 
stands along the Niobrara, as in Schlagle Canyon south of Valentine, north of 
Ainsworth, and in Long Pine Canyon. The broad-leaf species of the east and the 
pines and cedars from the west meet along the Niobrara. 

Forest Reserves. The federal government has exjjerimented with tree planting 
near Halsey, and shown conclusively that certain species can be grown on the sand- 
hills of Nebraska. Many ranchmen, profiting by this experience, have beautified 
their places and grown large wind breaks for protection. The Reserve now has 
several hundred acres of very good pine forest which can be seen from the Burlington 
trains as they pass through the Middle Loup Valley above Halsey. 


By G. Iv Condra. Director Conservation and Soil Survey 

The wild fruits of most importance in Nebraska are gooseberries, raspberries, 
blackberries, currants, grapes, chokecherries, and the saml cherry, plum, buffalo berry, 
crab apple, elderberry, and pawpaw. 

The Common Gooseberry is on most of the bottom lands of the eastern and 
southeastern parts of the state where there is forest. It comes into fruitage early in 
the year and the fruit is eagerly sought by many people from the country and towns. 
The western wild gooseberry is found principally in the northwestern counties. The 
red raspberry and the black raspberry are found on the slope lands of the timber 
belts. They give a limited amount of food. The wild currant is quite plentiful 
at places in the canyons of the Pine Ridge and Niobrara areas. It also occurs in 
the ravines bordering the N"orth Platte. 

Wild Grapes of two kinds occur in the state, being found in practically ever\' 
county with timber. They are the early wild grape and the sunnncr grape. The 
fruit of these has considerable value, especially along the ilissouri and in the French- 
man and Niobrara valleys. 

Wild Cherries of four species grow in Xehraska. Th.'v arc the wild hhu-k cherry 
of Ihe eastern counties, the sand cherry of the sandhills, the western chokcclu'rry 
and the common chokecherry. 

The Sand Cherry is a valuable fruit, ft grows on very sandy ground. ]irincipally 


ou the .sandhills and at places on the high plains of western Nebraska. The ranch- 
men gather this fruit in large quantities and use it for a number of purposes as for 
jelly, jams, sauce and wine. 

Chokecherries are widely distributed in the state. The western form produces 
hirge amounts of fruit, which are used for j'ellies, butter and other purposes. The 
chokecherry is a common plant along the Xiobrara and its tributaries, in the canyons 
of the Pine Ridge, along parts of the Platte, and at places in the Loup and Elkhorn 

The Buffalo Berry, sometimes called the bull berry, grows along most streams 
and ravines of the western and central counties. The plant is a strong branching 
shrub, 3 to 8 feet higli, and with thorns and light colored leaves. The fruit is reddish 
when ripe. Probably most fruit of this kind is produced in the North Platte Valley 
on sandy laud near the river. The fruit is gathered in large quantities late in the 
fall and used principally for jellies and jams. 

The Wild Plum has wide distribution in Nebraska. It is especially abundant in 
the Frenchman, Medicine and Xiobrara valleys. The fruit is used for luitter and 

The Western Crab Apple is present, but not plentiful in tlie state, occurring 
principally in the southeastern counties. 

The Elderberry grows abundantly near streams in tlie southeastern counties. It 
is used to some e.xtent for jams and preserves. . 

The Pawpaw grows along the Missouri in the southea.stern part of the state. It 
is most plentiful at or near Nebraska City, Peru, Brownville, Nemaha and Piulo. The 
ripe fruit is eaten raw. 

Nuts grow in parts of Nebraska. Hazelnuts occur in some of the timber areas 
of the southeastern counties. The hickory nut is found in this part of the state and 
the black walnut is more widely distributed. 

FISH ];i:sOLT,Ci:s 
By G. E. Condra, Director Conservation and Soil Survey 

Nebraska has several kinds of fish in small streams, rivers, natural lakes, and 
artificial lakes. The following are the principal kinds: Channel cat, bullhead, 
crappie, pike, perch, trout, sunfish, carp and buffalo. 

A subdivision of the State Department of Agriculture looks after the propaga- 
tion, distribution and protection of fish, licensing and the enforcement of fish and 
game laws. There are three state fish hatcheries in Nebraska. A chief game warden 
and many deputy wardens are employed to conserve the fish resources of the state. 

Speckled and Rainbow Trout occur in many of the small, swift streams of the 
northwestern part of the state, as in the Pine Ridge area and in tributaries of 
the middle course of the Niobrara. Some of the trout streams are Monroe 
Creek, Sow Belly Creek, West Hat Creek, East Hat Creek, White River, Big 
Bordeau.x, White Clay, Boardman, above its junction with the Snake. Schlagle, 
Minnechaduza, McFarland and Plum creeks. 'I'nmt nciur also in the drainage 
ditches of the North Platte Valley and at the head waters of the Klkhorn and Tjoup 
rivers. One can find very good sport among the trout of Nebraska. 

Bass of different kinds, of which the big-mouthed species is the most representa- 


tive, grow in several natural and artificial lakes throughout the state and fishing is 
ver}' good at some of these places. At one time bass fishing was best in some of the 
sandhill lakes. Most fish here were winter-killed in 1915. Lakes were again stocked 
and fishing has become quite good. Beaver, Eat, Haekberry, Eed Deer. Dewej', 
Willow, Enders, and Center lakes are well known bass lakes. Willow Lake is the 
best bass breeding ground in the state. Bass and perch minnows are collected here 
for stocking other waters. There are bass in the dredged lakes along the Platte, in 
a number of cut ofP lakes along the Missouri and Republican, in artificial lakes 
of the Loup. Elkhorn and Xiobrara valleys and in some of the reservoir;^ of the 
irrigation districts. 

Bluegills, Sunfish and Crappie occur in most waters suitable for bass and perch. 
Some of the largest catches of crappie and sunfish are from dredged lakes near 
Fremont, Valley, A.sliland, Meadow and Louisville. 

Striped Perch are present in great numbers in Dewey, Ked Deer. Haekberry and 
several other lakes of Cherry County. They occur also in many natural lakes, 
artificial lakes and reservoirs, and in some streams. This fish is well suited to 
Xebraska and is easily caught. Its firm meat makes good eating. 

Pickerel and Wall-eyed Pike grow principally in the Xiobrara and Xorth Platte, 
but are found in the Loup, Elkhorn and Eepublican, and several lakes. Large num- 
bers of pike are caught below the diversion dams in Scotts Bluff County. The catch 
each year is equal to many tons. The pike has been planted in several streams and 

Bullheads are common in Xebraska. in the streams, ponds and lakes. The 
yellow cat is a desirable fish. It has been distributed quite generally for stocking 

Channel Cats are in all rivers of the state. They afEord good fishing in the 
Republican, Little Blue, Xemahas, Loup, Elkhorn and Xiobrara, and at places in 
the Platte. They are also found in many lakes. 

German Carp, American Carp and Buffalo are found in many streams and lakes. 
The carp are caught mainly in the .southeastern part of the state. The buffalo is 
widely distributed, occurring in practically all streams of the western counties. Gar 
and sturgeon are large stream fish. They occur principally in the Missouri and 
Platte. The eel has been caught in the Elkhorn, Loup, and Platte. 

Frogs have some importance as a source of food. The small leopard frog thrives 
in most marshes and fresh water lakes. Though edible, it is not much used for food. 
The greenish bullfrog is native to the southeastern counties. Many of the streams 
and lakes in the central and northwestern counties have been stocked with this frog. 
One of the best results obtained is in the boggy places of Long Pine Canyon. Frogs, 
now quite numerous in these places, are becoming of value for food. 

Turtles occur in all parts of the state in both dry and wet places. The snapping 
turtle is widely represented by a number of varieties. 


By G. E. Condra, Director Conservation and Soil Survey 

The state's game consists of birds and mammals. Among the birds are the quail, 
grouse, prairie chicken, ducks, geese, snipes, plovers, and the curlew. 'I"he wild turkey 


was formerly found in tlie eastern and southwestern parts of the state. The mam- 
mals are the rabbits, raccoon, antelopes, and deer. 

Bob White or Quail occur in parts of the state where there is brush and timber. 
They are quite numerous along the Xiobrara and parts of the Republican, and are 
among the best game birds of the state, but have greater value in agriculture. There 
is no open season on quail at this time. i J. 32537 

Prairie Chickens were formerly plentiful in the eastern and southern counties. 
There are few birds now except in the eastern part of the Sandhill Region. 
Grouse occur in the sandhills, mostly in the central and western parts. They 
are closely related to the prairie chicken, but the feet are feathered whereas the feet 
of the prairie chicken are bare. Grouse are much lighter below and this is particu- 
larly noticeable in flight. The prairie chicken flies less smoothly than the grouse. 
Both birds afford good shooting in the sandhills. Sage hens are not now found in 
Nebraska, but they do occur across the line in Wyoming. 

Ducks are in Nebraska in large numbers during periods of migration and breed- 
ing. Some of them remain during the winter. Those breeding, principally in 
the lake districts of the sandhills are: Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, 
Mallard, Pintail, Ruddy or Butterball, Redhead,' Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, 
and Shoveller. 

Hunting Ducks and Grouse. Duck and grouse shooting have considerable 
importance in parts of the sandhills. There are lodges or hunting camps at many 
lakes and marshes. The number of birds killed at these places during the open 
season is large. Hunters come from all parts of Nebraska and from other states. 
Duck shooting is very good in other parts of the state, and a number of geese are 
bagged each year. 

The Upland Plover formerly was plentiful throughout the state. The numbers 
dwindled until a few birds were observed, since which time there has been a steady 

The Jack-snipe or Wilson's Snipe is found in small numbers about marsh land, 
but seems to be decreasing, as these areas are drained. 

The Long-billed Curlew has increased in numbers the past few years. It occurs 
throughout western Nebraska but principally in the wet valleys of the sandhills. 
There is no open season on this bird in the state. 

Shore birds and the Mourning Dove are hunted some in Nebraska. The dove 
receives natural protection in that many people are opposed to killing it on account 
of sentiment. There is no open season on the dove. 

The Chinese Pheasant has been introduced at places in the state. If the bird is as 
successful here as it is in Colorado, it should become a source of food within a few 

Rabbits are common in all parts of Nebraska. There are four s])ecies — the 
prairie cottontail, common in the eastern counties; plains cottontail of the western 
part; the black-tailed jack ralibit, principally in the southern counties; and the 
white-tailed jack rabbit, mainly in the northern part of the state. 

The rabbits are hunted universally. They afford sport and supply a considerable 
amount of meat. It would be possible to further develop them as a resource. 

The Western Fox Squirrel occurs in native timber in eastern and southeastern 
counties. It is also found in planted groves in most parts of the state. The sijuirrel 
is hunted to some extent for meat. 


The Raccoon occurs along practically all streams in the state, especially where 
there is brush, and about the marshes of the sandhills. It is hunted very gejierally 
in wooded areas and is trapped in the lake districts. The opossum occurs in the 
timber belts and is found occasionally a considerable distance from forests. 

The Prong-horn Antelope, once plentiful in all parts of the state, remains in 
Kimball, Banner, Sioux, and Garden counties. The largest bands are in Sioux 
County, south of Agate, and in Garden County, near Crescent Lake. The antelope 
is protected throughout the year. 

Deer of two species remain in northwestern Nebraska. The white-tailed deer 
occurs in the Dismal Eiver country of the sandhills, where for several years it has 
been protected by ranchmen. The black-tailed deer is found at two places in the 
Pine Eidge country. There is no open season for deer hunting in the state. 

Wapiti or Elk were very plentiful in what is now Nebraska. They are reported 
to have occurred in largest numbers aloui,'- Dismal Rivi-r. A few animals are now in 
parks and game preserves. 

The Bison, now extinct except for a few animals in paiks and on the federal 
game preserve located about four miles east of Valentine, was formerly the most 
important hnnted animal in Nebraska. 


By Frank H. Shoemaker, of the Conservation and Soil Survey 

The largest fur-bearing animals fduiid in Nebraska at the present time are 
the beaver, raccoon, badger, lynx, bdlieat. and eoyole. Smaller animals with furs of 
value are the muskrat and the various species of skunks, weasels, and minks. For- 
merly the black bear, the wolverine, the marten, and the otter occurred more or less 
commonly in Nebraska, but all are now extinct within our Iwrders, excepting possibly 
the otter. 

Muskrats, by reason of their uumliers. are jirobably of the greatest economic 
importance in Nebraska as fur producers. They occur in all parts of the state along 
streams and lakes, ponds and marshes, sometimes in large colonies. Considerable 
trapping is done, chiefly in the western part of the state and about sandhill marshes, 
and with good returns. The raising of muskrats for furs might be greatly developed 
there, as it has been in some states farther east. 

Minks, Weasels and Skunks are found chiefly in woodland along streams. Their 
furs are highly valued if taken at proper seasons. These animals are all destructive 
to poultry, and for protective if no other reason, should be trapped systematically 
where poultry is tlireateiu>d. 



sioux: iiAssAinK. I.s7:5 — ma.ioh kkaxk xdirni axd i-awxee scouts — the siodx 






"The hind was ours — this uloriiuis land — 

With all its wealth of wood and streams, 
Our wariiors strong of heart and hand, 

Oui- (huighters beautiful as dreams. 
When wearied at the thirsty noon, 

We knelt where the spring gushed up. 
To take our Father's blessed boon — 

I'nlike the white man's poison cup." 

— Whiltiri; -Thr huliaii rale." 

Except fin- tlie preliistoric races that have been herotdfore spoken of, and con- 
cernin.iT whom no facts can be recorded here, the Indians were the first settlers of 
Nebraska. 'While their coming may have only antedated that of the first explorers 
by a few hundred years, their claim to precedence of residence cannot be doubted. 

Before undertaking a chronological survey of the part the Indians played in 
formation of early Nebraska annals, we may first make a brief survey of the history 
of tlie \avious tribes found to be flourishing to any very marked degree in Nebraska. 
'I'his will be intcr\vn\tn info the first portion of the chronology to follow here. 

l(iT3 — June. Eather Jacques Marquette, accompanied by that devout Christian 
worker and missionary, Louis Joliet, embarked upon his great exploring trip of the 
"Father of the Waters." While he made a trip as far south as the Red River, the 
interesting feature to our narrative is Marquette's description of the hitherto un- 
known Missouri country, and thereby giving forth a first report on Nebraska Indians. 
In a most interesting chart of that expedition, now in the archives at .Montreal. 
Marquette locates, in what is now Kansas ami Nebraska, the follow iui: Imlian 


The Ouemessouriet (Misso 
The Kenza (Kansas). 
The Ousehage (Osage). 
The Paneassa (Pawnee), 
and the Maha (Omaha). 

38 msroltV OF NEBRASKA 

That his information was surprisingly correct is seen from the fact that the Frencli 
explorers found these very tribes in relatively the same ]X)sition as indicateil in the 
chart nearly two hundred years later. 

1701. Governor D'lberville of Louisiana reported the location of the Maha and 
Otoe tribes. 

1719. Dustine, French explorer, visited the Pawnee nation. 

17"^0. Massacre of a Spanish expedition under Pedro ^'illazur by Nebraska 
Indians, purported to have been aided by hostile French. 

1721. Charlevoix reports of the Missouri tribe, but not upon Nebraska soil. 
He reports concerning the extent of the tribes of Indians inhabiting the Missouri 
Eiver above the Missouri nation, "Higher up we find the Cansez (Kansas) ; then 
the Octotatas (Otoes), which some call Mactotatas; then the Ajouez (lowas) and 
Panis (Pawnees), a very populous nation, divided into several cantons, which 
have names very different from each other." This would lead to the conclusion that 
during the first half of the seventeenth century, the country now forming the 
State of Nebraska was inhabited along its southern border by the Kansas Indians; 
that the Platte Eiver, then called the Eivere des Panis. was the home of the 
Pawnees, who had also villages to the northward — at a point a considerable distance 
up the Missouri Eiver. And to the westward, lived the Padoucahs — a tribe long 
since extinct. 

(While there is uncertainty as to whether some of these explorers just named 
above really visited Nebraska, it is known to a certainty that Dustine visited 
Kansas as early as 1719, and Bourgmont was there in 1724.) 

1721. De Bourgmont, French commander, is reputed to have made a military 
expedition as far as the Neliraska region and counseled "with at least the Otoes and 

1739. When Mallet brothers reach and name Platte Eiver, they journey up 
river as far as its forks before striking south. 

1743. La Verendrye brothers, on trip on which they discover the Eocky iloun- 
tains, describe the Pawnee Indians. 

1770. Otoe Indians reputed to have established their chief village on the 
Platte, about three miles from the present village of Yutau. 

1789. Jean Baptiste Monier, of St. Louis, reported to have found the Ponca 
Indians at the mouth of the Niobrara Eiver. 

1794. Jean Baptiste Tniteau. under the I'ouimerrial Company, visited the 
Maha and Ponca tribes. 

This brings the record of the principal intercourses between the white men 
and Indians of Nebraska down to 1804, the year in which, on August 3d, the 
first council held with Indians in Nebraska by representatives of the United States 
was held, at Council Bluff, now Fort Calhoun. 

1804. Lewis and Clark, in the year of 1804, report finding Pawnees, Missouris, 
and Otoes in possession of the Platte, the Poncas near the mouth of the Niobrara 
and the Omahas in the nortlu'asirni part of the state, centering around what is now 
Sioux City. 

This gives us a roster of the ]UMiiripal tribes in Nebraska and their respective 
locations, and is probably a iirojifr puiiit at which to divert and divide the record 
of Indian historv of the state into tribal divisions. 


Origin. Some early writers have taken the position that the I'awnees were 
the descendants of the ancient Aztec nation, but the best authorities agree that 
the tribe belongs to the Caddoan family, and that the original habitat was probably 
on the Eed River of Louisiana. In the Caddoan migration toward the northeast 
the Paw;nee became separated from the main body and establishcil tlifiiiselves in 
the Valley of the Platte, where the Siouan tribes found them at an early date. 
Some of the tribes, though, moved on northward. Thus the Arikari moved by way 
of the Missouri, penetrating far into North Dakota. Sometime later the Skidi 
(Wolves) advanced northward and halted at the Platte, there to be overtaken by 
the Pawnees proper. 

The Pawnees called themselves Skiliiksiliiks, or •'men par excellence." 'J'lie 
popular name, and the one most in vogue, is Wolf People. They were a warlike and 
powerful nation, claiming the whole region watered by the Platte from the Rocky 
Mountains to its mouth. They held in check the powerful Kiowas of the Black 
Hills and waged successful war against the Comanches of the Arkansas. 

There were from an early day four grand divisions, or clans, of the Pawnees, 
having distinct government, though with language in common. 

There were Shani (or Tswa), the Grand Pawnees, with villages on the south 
bank of the Platte, opposite the present Grand Island; the Kitkehaki (Tskithka 
Petower Ivattaliankies), or Republican Pawnees, on the Republican River in 
northern Kansas; the Pitahauerat (Tapage), or Noisy Pawnees, also on the Platte; 
and the Skidi or Loup (Wolf), Pawnees, on the Loup fork of the Platte Valley. 

Customs. Among many other customs that might be narrated: — They lived 
in well built log houses, covered with turf and earth, preferring these to the movable 
tepee, which was only used when the bands were on extended hunts. They depended 
very much on agriculture, the raising of corn and pumpkins — more so than 
upon the buffalo hunt. In this manner they probably never outgrew the sedentary 
and agricultural habits peculiar to all southern tribes. 

It is narrated that from time to time they sacrificed prisoners to the sun to 
obtain good crops and success in warfare. "Anyone was at liberty to offer up a 
prisoner that they had captured in warfare. The victim was clothed in the gayest 
apparel and fed and feasted on the best that could be had, and when sufficiently 
fattened for their purpose, a suitable day was appointed for the sacrifice, so that 
the whole nation might attend. The unfortunate victim was then bound to a 
cross in the presence of the assembled multitude, after which a solemn dance and 
other ceremonies were performed, and at their conclusion the warrior whose pris- 
oner he had been stepped forward and cleaved his head with a tomahawk, the 
other warriors filling his body with arrows. This barbarous custom, however, was 
finally stopped in 1820, through the influence of the missionaries." 

1806. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike's exploring expedition, when on its way to 
the mountains in this year, encountered the Republican Pawnees in northern 
Kansas. This was a few years before they moved north to join their brothers already 
established on the Loup Forks. On September 29th, Lieutenant Pike and his aid 
Lieutenant Wilkinson held a grand council with the chiefs of that nation, a short 
account of which serves to give an idea of the northward limit of Spanish activity 
at that late time, and the degree of intercourse attainable with these Indians. 


"The council was held at the Pawnee Eepublic Village (near the present site of 
Scaudia, Kansas, in Eepublic County) and was attended by 400 warriors. When the 
parties assembled for their council, Lieutenant Pike found that the Pawnees had 
unfurled a Spanish flag at the door of the chief, one which had lately been presented 
by that government, through the hands of Lieutenant Malgoras. To the request of 
Lieutenant Pike that the flag should be delivered to him, and one of the United 
States hoisted in its place, they at first made no response ; but, u]ion his repeating his 
demand, with the emphatic declaration that they must choose between Americans 
and Spaniards, and that it was impossible for the nation to have two fathers, they 
decided to put themselves, for the time at least, under American protection. An old 
man accordingly rose, went to the door, took down the Spanish flag, and laid it at 
the feet of Lieutenant Pike, and in its stead elevated the stars and stripes." 

1812. Treaty of amity with Pawnees by the Government. 

Major Long's Report. 1819. The expedition of Major Long sent out by the 
War Department. Leaving Engineer Cantonment "just below Council Bluffs, on 
June 10th, it struck out over Indian country." 

Similar treaties of amity to the one just mentioned as having been ratified 
with the Pawnees on January 5, 1812, had been made with the Maha (Omahas) 
on December 26, 1815, and with the Otoes on December 26, 1817, and Major Long 
was instructed to make investigation and see that these treaties were lived up to 
by white man and red man alike. So he visited the Pawnee villages on his course 
westward. It would be impossible to take space to go into every detail of the life 
and customs of each of the tribes to be treated in this chapter, but an account of 
this visit will be worth our time and space. At sunset, June 10th, Major Long's 
expedition went into camp at a small creek about eleven miles distant from the 
village of the Grand Pawnees. His account reads: — 

"On the following morning, having arranged the party according to rank, 
and given the necessary instructions for the preservation of order, we proceeded 
forward, and in a short time came in sight of the first of the Pawnee villages. The 
trail on which we had traveled since leaving the Missouri had the appearance of 
being more and more frequented as we approached the Pawnee towns: and here, 
instead of a single footway, it consisted of more than twenty parallel paths, of similar 
size and appearance; at a few miles distance from the village, we met a party of 
eight or ten squaws, with hoes and other implements of agriculture, on their way to 
the corn plantations. They were accompanied by one young Indian, but in what 
capacity — whether as assistant, protector or taskmaster, we were not informed. 
After a ride of about three hours we arrived before the village and dispatched a 
messenger to infonn the chief of our approach. 

"Answer was returned that he was engaged with his chiefs and warriors at a 
medicine feast, and could not, therefore, come out and meet us. We were soon 
surrounded by a crowd of women and children, who gazed at us with some expres- 
sions of astonishment; but as no one appeared to welcome us to the village, ar- 
rangements were made for sending on the horses and baggage to a suitable place for 
encampment while Major Long, with several gentlemen who wished to accompany 
him, entered the village. The party after groping about for some time and 
traversing a considerable part of the village, arrived at the lodge of the principal 
chief. Here wo were again informed that Tarrerecawaho. with all the principal 
nieii of the village, was ciigagetl in ii inediciiie feast. N'otwiilistanding his absence, 


some mats were spread for \is upon the ground in the back part of the lodge. Upon 
them we sat down, and, after waiting some time, were presented with a large 
wooden dish of hominy or boiled corn. In this was a single spoon or the horn of 
a buffalo, large enough to hold a pint, which, being used alternately by each of the 
party, soon emptied the dish of its contents. 

"After this strange reception and feast the expedition visited in turn the villages 
of the Republican and Loup (Wolf) Pawnees, lying a few miles apart, an hours 
ride above the village of the Pawnee Grand." 

Major Long, in his report, further commented on the thrift of these villages. 
For miles up and down the river large droves of horses were grazing; fields of 
maize and patches of tomatoes, pumpkins and squashes were seen in many places 
and added much to the apparent wealth of the community. That was before, and 
in sharp contrast to, the misfortunes that are soon to be chronicled as having 
overtaken this nation. 

1831. It was about this time that calamities began to overtake the Pawnee 
nation, which had formerly numbered some 25,000 souls, and in its prime been 
the terror alike of trapper and trader and bands from other tribes who by chance 
ventured too far into the hunting grounds of these fierce fighting foes. In 1831, a 
terrible epidemic of smallpox carried off several thousand of their number, leaving 
the nation in a pitiable condition. Their agent, John Dougherty, in making his 
report to the Government, says : — 

"Their misery defies all description. I am fully persuaded that one-half the 
whole number will be carried off by this frightful distemper. They told me that 
not one under thirty years of age escaped, it having been that length of time 
since it visited them before. They were dying so fast, and taken down at once in 
such large numbers that they had ceased to bury their dead, whose bodies were to 
be seen in every direction — lying in the river, lodged on the sand bars, in the 
weeds around the villages and in their corn caches." 

1832. The removal of the Delawares to lands between the Platte and Kansas 
rivers led to a war with the Pawnees, and in this year the former tribe burned the 
great Pawnee village on the Republican River. 

1834. Furthermore by treaty of October 9, 1834, the Pawnees sold their 
lands south and agreed to stay north of the Platte River and west of the Loup 
River, thereby considerably restricting their territory. 

1834-183.5. All of the Pawnee's plague-stricken southern villages were aban- 
doned and the miserable remnant of this once proud tribe reassembled un the Loup 
and westward along the Platte. 

1835-1849. In this period, first the Sioux, their old enemies swept down upon 
the Pawnees, and began a war of extermination along the Cedar and North Loup 
rivers. The Pawnees found every man's hand against them and even the Govern- 
ment remained indifferent to their fate at the hands of the Sioux. Then, to make 
matters worse, the Cheyennes and the Arapahoes infested their old Kansas iiuntiug 
grounds, as if eager to strike the final blow. 

1849. The gold seekers on the way to California brought the cholera to the 
Pawnee camps. Again several thousand died, and the handful of survivors, 
reduced to beggary, besought the Government for protection, which was granted. 

1857. By the treaty of September 4, 1857, the Pawnees ceded all of their 
original territory except a strip 30 miles long by 15 wide upon the lower Loup River. 


This was tlie old Xance County lu'scr\:itioii. whence they were finally removed to 
their final abode in Oklahoma. 

1863-1865. During the Indian skirmishes that took place in those years, and 
during the Civil War period, the Pawnees furnished scouts to the Government and 
proved a valuable aid to the Government against the crafty Sioux, and reaped 
thereby a small measure of revenge for the time being, but the Sioux, after the war 
closed, reaped the final revenge upon the Pawnees. 

1865-1872. In this period, the Pawnees were never safe if they ventured off 
their reservation. Red Cloud's crafty bands might sweep down upon them to kill 
and plunder. 

1872. As if to cap the climax of their troubles, in this year they met the 
gras.shopper invasion and their crops were destroyed. This meant starvation, but 
Congressional appropriation through land sales kept them alive until 1871:. 

1874:. The Pawnees set their faces southward, forever to leave the Loup and 
the Platte. 

The story of the rapid decay of this proud tril)e is read in these figures of their 
numbers : — 

1835, according to missionaries Dunbar and Allis. 10,000. In 1840, disease and 
war had reduced them to 7,500. In 1849, cholera had reduced them to 5,000. 
Later official reports gave 4,686 in 1856; 3,416 in 1861; 2,376 in 1874; 1,440 in 
1879: 824 in 1880; and 620 in 1901. 

PAWXEE W.\R OF 1859 

Before closing the narration of the experiences of the Pawnee tribes, there are 
two further incidents in their history which can be included in the Pawnee 
division of this Chapter, or elsewhere, but we will briefly treat them before passing 

The "Pawnee War"' occurred in the summer of 1859. At that time the Pawnees 
were occupying two villages on the south side of the Platte, about twelve miles south 
of Fontanelle, a village in the western edge of Wasliington County. This "war" 
was precipitated by the robbing of a settler, Uriah Thomas^ of his pocket book 
containing $136 and valuable land papers, drinking up his whiskey, and taking off 
his fine oxen, leaving him locked up in the cabin. A few days later people from 
West Point, about thirty miles northwest, and Dcwitt, on further up, came in and 
reported the Pawnee bands to be marauding and committing various depredations 
upon the settlers, burning their dwellings, destroying their furniture, driving off 
their stock. After some scouting about the country, a small band of Indians was 
located about a mile from Fontanelle. In attempting to capture them, two or 
three Indians were killed as they fled from their intended place of ambush, and 
soon the whole country was ablaze with excitement. It was generally believed that 
a retaliating war of extermination would be inaugurated by the Pawnees, and the 
few militia companies then organized were ordered out by Governor Black to hold 
themselves ready at a moment's notice. While the settlers along the Elkhorn 
as.sembled at Fontanelle in readiness, the crops suffered seriously from neglect, and 
as the reported band of 10,000 ferociously arrayed savages failed to appear, a band 
of 200 men pre]>ared to go out and find the savages and render them a lesson that 
would long live in their memories. Governor Black accompanied the expedition, 


as nominal commander, though the real command fell upon Col. (later (iovernor) 
John M. Thayer. In a few days' march a band of some 5,000 Pawnees, Omaha and 
Poncas were overtaken. Instead of putting up stiff fight, when they discovered 
the paleface expedition in close proximity, the Indians attenipti'il to escape. 
Later, some 2,000 were brought together for a parley. They were given a 
choice between surrendering the braves who had committed the depredations 
around West Point, pay the expenses of the expedition out of certain moneys due to 
them from the Government, or — fight. They chose the former, surrendered seven 
young braves, and signed the necessary agreement. In retuniing they ])asscd the 
home of one of the imprisoned braves, whose squaw sprang out and handed him a 
knife with which he stabbed himself. While the whites were ministering to the 
supposed dying man, the squaw seized the knife, cut the cords binding the other 
prisoners and made possible tlieir escape. Pursuing guards reported tliey had 
either killed or wounded all six of tiie escaped prisoners and the expedition re- 
sumed its return journey. Finally, the Government paid the Indians all that was 
due them and the expedition paid its own expenses, and thus ended the "Pawnee 


On the fifth day of August, 1873, occurred the battle between the Siuux and 
Pawnee Indians, in what has since come to be known as Massacre Canyon, a ravine 
about four miles north of the subsequent site of Trenton, Hitchcock County. This 
episode was about the finishing touch of the Pawnee's military career. About 250 
Pawnee men, 100 women and 50 children were on a buffalo hunt, which liad lasted 
since July 3d, and had been suflficiently successful that they were about to i-eturn 
to their reservation with the meat and skins of some 800 buft'aloes. 

The moment of the attack was early in the morning, when most of the men 
were hunting straggling buffaloes, and the women were making preparations for the 
day's journey. The Sioux, comprised of some 600 of the Ogallala and Brule bands, 
surprised the Pawnees, who briefly resisted but soon fled to avoid being surrounded 
and completely annihilated. They abandoned all of their possessions, including 
their winter's supply of meat and other provisions, robes and saddles. Some 69, 
20 men, 39 women and 10 children were killed, and 11 women and children captured. 
The Government had some knowledge of the proximity of the Sioux, and Major 
Russell of the army, with 60 privates and 20 scouts, was camped within a few miles 
of the scene of the massacre and was then on his way to intercept the Sioux. When 
the Sioux discovered the soldirrs, they tied to the northwest. 

:n[a,joi! fisaxk xoj!TU and the pawnee scouts 

In general, the record of the Pawnees in their relations with the whites was 
much better than most of the other A'ebraska tribes. While occasional depredations, 
and such incidents as precipitated the "Pawnee War" of 1859 stain this record, it 
cannot be questioned that the Pawnees rendered as valuable service to the whites 
and the Government as any Nebraska tribe ever di<l. 

As brief a manner as any to explain this to the reader will be to give a short 
account of the work of Major Frank North and his Pawnee Scouts. In 1856 
when Frank Noi'th was a young boy, he came to Nebraska and mingled with the 


Indians along the Missouri in the region of Omaha, and learned their mode of 
warfare, their language, which he came to speak as fluently as his mother tongue, 
and thereby won their confidence. In 1861 he became a clerk and interpreter at 
the Pawnee reservation, and by 1863 had developed into a daring scout. During 
the work of building the Union Pacific the fierce Arapahoes, Cheyennes and Sioux 
persisted in attacking the laborers. A few excerpts from an account by his niece, 
Mrs. Sarah Clapp, in Nebraska Pioneer Eeminiseences, will serve not only to 
explain his work, but the attributes of the Pawnee scouts. 

"It was useless to call on the regular troops for help as the Governuient needed 
their help to check the armies of Lee and Johnston. A clipping from the Wash- 
ington Sunday Herald on this subject states that 'a happy thought occurred to 
Mr. Oakes Ames,' the main spirit of the work (of building the Union Pacific). He 
sent a trusty agent to hunt up Frank North, who was then twenty-four years old. 
'What can be done to protect our working parties, Mr. North?' said Mr. Ames. 
'I have an idea,' Mr. North answered. 'If the authorities at Washington will 
allow me to organize a battalion of Pawnees and mount and equip them, I will 
undertake to picket your entire line and keep off other Indians. The Pawnees are 
the natural enemies <if all the tribes that are giving you so much trouble, and a little 
encouragement nml drill will nuike them the best irregular liorse you could desire.' 

"The plan wns new Imt looked feasililc. Accord inuly. Mr. Ames went to 
Washington, ami. iil'tiM- Mime dVort. mk rriMlrd in lirtliii- pi'ruiission to organize 
a battalion of Imii- InuidiiMl Pawner wai-riors, who ^llolllll lie armed as were the 
U. S. Cavalry and drilled in su( li simple tactics as the service required, and my 
uncle was commissioned as ,i majoi- of volunteers and ordered to command them. 
The newspaper clipping also says: "It would be difficult to estimate the service of 
Major North in money value." General Crook once said, in speaking of him, 
'Millions of Cxovernment pro])erty and hundreds of lives were saved by him on the 
Union Pacific railroad, and on the Xehraska. Wyomini;- ami Montana frontiers. . . . 

"During the many skirmishes and hattlcs rmiulit liy the Pawnees under Major 
North, he never lost a man; moreover, on several occasions he passed through such 
hair-breadth escapes that the Pawnees thought him invulnerable. In one instance, 
while pursuing the retreating enemy, he discovered that his command had fallen 
back and he was separated from them by over a mile. The enemy, discovering his 
plight, turned on him. He dismounted, being fully armed, and by using his horse as 
a breastwork, he managed to reach his troops again, though his faithful horse was 
killed. This and many like experiences caused the Pawnees to believe that their 
revered leader led a charmed life. He never deceived them, and they loved to call 
him 'Little Pawnee Le-Sharo' (Pawnee Chief), so he was known as the White 
Chief of the Pawnees." 

So, just as the settler was compelled to use back-firing to fight prairie fires, the 
Government and settlers were enabled to "fight the fire of other tribes with the 
fire of the Pawnee's valor" in the eleventh hour of this tribe's Nebraska career. 


The tril.(> that |)rol>ably i)lay.'d the next greatest part in Nebraska Indian history, 
or at least in the last thret; decades of the Indians and white settlers' cohabitation 
in this territorv, was the Sioux. 


Prof. II. W. F()u;lit, in liis "Trail of the Loup" give,^ u short historical account 
of this tribe, which will .serve to introduce them to tlic reader, before any chronologi- 
cal survey of their Xebra.ska career is undertaken. 

"The Sioux belonged to one of the most widely extended and important Indian 
families of Xorth America. In the very earliest days of the advent of the white men 
they appear to have held sway on the Atlantic seaboard, around the Virginias and 
Carolinas, They later abandoned their sedentary and agricultural tendencies and 
roamed to the banks of the Ohio. From their own traditions it is accounted that 
the Siou.x parted company with the Winnebagoes at some point on the Ohio, 
probably near the mouth of the Waba,sh, and crossed northeasterly through Illinois, 
and took possession of the headwaters of the Mississippi. In the meantime other 
tribes of that great family reached the Mississippi until they came to the Missouri, 
there dividing, some of them going southward to Arkansas. The portion called the 
•'Omahas' ascended the Missouri and made their home in eastern Nebraska. The 
Poncas and lowas are also usually classed as belonging to this Sioux family, as 
well as the Otoes, Peorias, and Missouris, first mentioned by Father Marquette in 
IG^:]. But the Sioux were the most important of the Siouan stock. The Sioux 
called themselves Dakotah, Nakotah, or Lakotah, according to their respective 
dialects, a name signifying 'allies.' But from the early French designation of 
'Xadaousioux' a shortening brought it down to the modern 'Sioux.' This warlike 
nation early relinquished sedentary habits and became roaming buffalo hunters. 
For many years the Niobrara Eiver in Nebraska formed the line of demarkation 
between the Sioux and Pawnees. In 1837 the Sioux sold to the Government all their 
claims to lands east of the Mississippi; in 1851, relinquished the greater part of 
Minnesota and Dakota. In 1857, they expressed dissatisfaction with the handling 
of their treaty relations by the Government by a massacre of white settlers at 
Spirit Lake, Iowa, and, in 1862, their chieftain. Little Crow, led a warfare upon the 
outlying settlements in Minnesota, and took advantage of the Government's em- 
barrassments consequent upon the Civil war. This bitter war lasted until 1869, 
when they were driven out of Minnesota by General Sibley. 

While Little Crow and his bands escaped to Canada, Red Cloud and his cohorts 
came to Nebraska, where they started a long struggle. 

The valley of the Platte was then the thoroughfare to California. Plainsmen 
dared not cross in small companies and the pioneers were foi'ccil to arm to the 
teeth. The trail from the Missouri to the Rockies then became marked with 
bleaching bones, burn,t wagons and rotting harness." 

18.'?3. The first great manifestation of the Sioux after white setilenient was 
feebly attempted in Nebraska was in 1832 in what is now .letlerson County. Near 
the junction of the Big Sandy and the Little Blue rivers was fought one of the 
most desperate battles ever waged on the American continent. In this encounter 
the Sioux met defeat at the hands of the Pawnees, and it proved to be the Waterloo 
of the Plains for some three decades, and gave the Pawnees mastery of the Nebraska 
country at that time. According to best accounts, 16,000 savages participated in 
the conflict. The Pawnees were umler the eoniinaiid of the chief Tac-po-ha-na, while 
the Sioux were led by Oco-no-me-woe. of uJKini ii is claimed the celebrated Sioux 
chief. Sitting Bull, is a lineal descendant. Tiic struggle for supremacy lasted 
three days and the Sioux wore completely worsted, losing over 3,000 men. The 
Pawnees sustained a loss of 2,000 men. The storv of this encounter was told to Mr. 


D. C. Jenkins, who narrated it to the first chronicler who preserved it for Ne- 
braska historical traditions by Monsieur Mont Crevie, an old French trader, who 
claimed to have spent forty years of his life among the Indians of the plains and 
mountains and had married a squaw in every tribe where he could find one who 
would have him. The facts are also further corroborated by an old blind Pawnee 
warrior who claimed to have been the only survivor of the terrible conflict. This 
last claim must have been incorrect for there were doubtless many other survivors 
among the Indians met by the first settlers of the various counties. 

1832-1844. It will be noticed in the chapter hereafter following giving the 
order and chronolo'gy of the settlements of the various communities in Nebraska 
that between 1810, when the first post was established at Bellevue. and ISIO, when 
Fort Atkinson was attempted sixteen miles north of present Omaha, and 1844. tliere 
were no really permanent white settlements made in Nebraska. 

The early annals of the river counties in eastern Nehraska attribute many 
Indian residences to that territory in that period. Then for the next twenty-five 
years after 1844, when the early perniaiicnt settlements began along the Missouri 
River side of Nebraska, many encounteis with Indians are recorded. Most of 
these are of too small a scope for us to take the space to chronicle them, so only 
the more important ones will be sketched here. 

Probably Jefferson, Thayer, Nuckolls, Webster, Kearney. Buft'alo, Dawson, 
Lincoln, Keith, and old Cheyenne counties suffered from Indians during the early 
settlement periods more than any otlier counties, because largely through these 
counties the old "Oregon trails"" aii<l tlif western and more unprotected end of the 
other Overland trails, travcrsiMl. 


1864. The effect upon the settlements then already made in Nehraska of the 
outbreaks of the Sioux, especially in Dawson, Buffalo, Adams, Nuckolls and Thayer 
counties, can be well conveyed by an excerpt from the old Hebron .Tournal, by E. M. 

"The attention of the whole nation was occupied liy the gTcat war of the Re- 
bellion in 1864, so that the Indian raid of that year, the most carefully planned 
and skillfully executed known in the history of the western frontier, received but 
little attention and seemed in comparison of so little importance as scarcely to deserve 
a place in National history. 

'■'Yet the military strategy and precision, and the secrecy and success and the 
cool butchery and cruelty of the attack. nud<e it Na]ioleonic in its design and 
execution, and should place it on the pages of history alongside of the other great 
and bloody butchery by savages. At this time, many ranches dotted the great 
militai7 road at intervals of a few miles. These ranches had become in many 
instances valuable farms, with substantial improvements, graced by woman's taste- 
ful care. .\ number of sueli vniiclics were in Thayer Cnnnty upon and contiguous 
to the (iovernnient road. 'I'hr Indian- bad been ]ieaicrul and quiet tor a longtime, 
and the settlers along the road were jirosperous and liap}iy. Without a single note 
of warning the crisis came. From Denver City to Big Sandy, a distance of over six 
bundred miles, near the middle of the day. at ]u-ecisely the same time, along the 
wlidlc (listailce a sininltaneon> attack was niadc ntu.n tlic ranches. No time was 


given for couriers, no time for concentration, no time for the erection or strengtli- 
ening of places of defense, but as the eagle swoops clown upon his prey, the savage 
warriors attacked the defenseless white men. No principle of kingh' courtesy 
actuated the breasts of the painted assailants. It mattered little t(i ilinii that they 
were in vastly superior numbers, and the opponents in part wdincii and children. 
All alike were made to feel their cruelty or their lust. No mercy was shown. No 
captives were taken but women, and death was preferred to the captivity that 
awaited them. Could the eastern philanthropists who speak so flatteringly of the 
'iiolile red man of the West" have witnessed the cruel butchery of unoffending 
children, the disgrace of woiiicii. wIhi were first horribly mutilated and then slain, 
tlie cowardly assassination of husbands and fathers, they might, perhaps (if fools 
can learn), be impressed with their true character. On the morning of the 7th of 
August, Indians must have been secreted in the ravines (of which there are many 
adjacent to the military road), and. at a given hour, rushed forth and commenced 
tlifir udik of de.struetion. At iimrn, the Government road was a travelejl thor- 
(iiiglifarc. dotted with pros|ici-(ius ami happy bnnie> : at night, a wilderness, strewn 
with iiian.nled Itodics and wrcrks. and illuniinated with tlic glare of burning 

1862-1867. Since tlic dcinvdatidiis of tlie period of the Civil war. and espe- 
cially the outbreak of, was the most widespread and universal encounter 
between the settlers and the Indians, a short synopsis of the experiences of the 
various counties, then very well settled, will be given at this point. 


The most notable incident of this period was the massacre of a train, eleven in 
number, near Plum Creek on August 7th. This took place near the telegraph 
station, and the people there believing it was the outbreak of an extensive Indian 
war. immediately dispatched word to the settlers at Wood Eiver Center, Grand 
Island and points farther east. 

Lieutenant Governor Hopewell of Nebraska, as late as November, 1908, narrated 
to S. C. Bassett, compiler of a History of Buffalo County, that he was a "bull- 
whacker" on a Government freight train of twenty-five wagons, with six to eight yoke 
of oxen each. While the conditions along the trail in early July, 1864, were so 
peaceful that men even neglected sometimes to carry arms, and they received almost 
daily visits from scattered Indians, mostly Pawnees, friendly in nature and gener- 
ally begging in ]nii|i(]se, they saw as early as July 6th, near Plum Creek, where the 
Indians had coniniittcd some depredations. Near O'Fallon's Bluff the train passed 
through a large camp of Cheyenne Indians (old men and women) and a day or two 
journey farther east saw a large body of Indian warriors. The train was not 
molested, but when it arrived at Plum Creek found where tlie train of eleven 
wagons had been destroyed and there were a large n\imber of fresh graves along 
tlie trail. 


The actual massacre incident to this raid, or series of raids, did not penetrate 
as far east as the scanty settlements of these counties. But on August 9th, James 
Oliver and Thomas Morgan, settlers on Wood River, at the eastern edge of Buffalo 


County, had gone to Fort Keainov with a IomiI of vegetables, and left their wives 
and children to keep company togetluT. While there, the oflficers at the Fort re- 
ceived word of the massacre in Dawson I'ounty, and another settler named Cook 
who was also at the Fort was sent to warn the people around Wood Eiver Center 
(now Shelton). The homes of the settlers then living in that vicinity were some 
built of logs and some of sod, and extended from the Boyd ranch (the home of J. E. 
Boj'd, afterwards governor of the state) about one mile west of present town of 
Gibbon, on down the south side of the Platte to the present Grand Island. With 
very few exceptions all of the settlers from the Boyd ranch down to Grand Island 
immediately packed their belongings and fled eastward, most of them never stopping 
until they reached the colony at Columbus, and many passing on east and not re- 
turning. There were about eighteen families in the community near the present 
town of Wood River, in western Hall County, and Wood Eiver Center, now Shelton, 
in eastern Buffalo County. In addition to those named, Boyd, Morgan and Oliver, 
there were Sol Reese, Storey, Nutter, Sol Richmond, Highler, Richard, Anthony 
and Patrick Moore, Edmund O'Brien, Dugdale, Ted, Jack and Bob Oliver, Bill 
Eldridge, Squire Lamb and Fred Adams. Most of this colony returned after the 


Prior to this, on February '>. 18G"2. Iln1l ('(uuiiy had experienced one incident 
that was sufficient to ]il<ifr tlie feiir of the Indians pretty strongly in the hearts of 
the settlers of that vicinity. Joseph P. Smith and Andreson, his son-in-law, farmers 
on Wood River about twelve miles west of Grand Island, were out after some logs on 
the north channel of the Platte River on that date, accompanied by the two sons, 
William eleven years and Charles nine years of age. Andreson took home a load of 
logs and on his return found Mr. Smith and the two boys brutally massacred by the 
Sioux Indians. The old man Smith had several arrow^s in his body and was lying 
on the ice with his face down, holding each of the boys by one hand. 

In August, 1864, two boys, Nathaniel and Eobert Martin, were helping their 
father in the hayfield. The two boys were mounted on a fleet pony and when some 
Sioux Indians showed up, were making good their escape toward the shelter of the 
log house and barns at the ranch when an arrow pinned them together. 

Pa.ssing on to 1867, Hall County experienced two more sad losses at the hands 
of these Indians. One was the attack on the Campbell ranch on July 24, 1867. 
No men being at home, the house was captured, a woman, Mrs. Thurston Warren, 
killed by a gunshot, and her son by an arrow. The two nieces of Mr. Campbell, 
aged nineteen and seventeen, w-ere carried away with twin boys four years old, and a 
German, named Henry Dose, was killed close by. The Indians robbed the house, 
killed some stock, and escaped unmolested. Months later the Government bought 
the two girls from the Indians for $4,000, and as extra comjjensation released an 
Indian squaw who had been captured by Ed. Arnold's Pawnee scouts, at Elm Creek, 
that seascin. Of the children captured, three were living, at least recently. They 
are Mrs. J. P. Dunlap of Dwight, Nebraska, Peter Campbell, of Wahoo, Nebraska 
(ill Lincoln, iu 1!)1!J), and Daniel, who in 1919 was living in Ohio. 

A few months later two boys, Chris Geottsch and Henry Frauen, were killed 
in a raid some thirty miles from Grand Island, on the Loup River, near the 
])reseut site of Dannebrog. 


That there were not more casualties in Hall County during the raid of 1864: 
was probably due to the fact that the German settlement, of some thirty or forty 
families living south of the present city of Grand Island, had built a fort in 1863. 
This was a fortified log house, 24x24 in size and with 25 port holes, had a well inside. 
This "Fort Independence" and the further fortified 0. K. store, so protected this 
colony that they did not join in the exodus that was taking place up and down 
the valley, and escaped the troublesome period without loss of life. 


Capt. H. E. Palmer, in his "History of the Powder River Expedition of 1865" 
(Nebraska State Historical Society, Vol. II), described the carnage in Thayer 
County resulting from the raids of the Sioux in 1864, as follows : — 

"On my way out, near Big Sandy, now Alexandria, I met a party of freighters 
and stage coach passengers on horseback, and some few ranchmen, fleeing from 
the Little Blue Valley. They told me a terrible story, that the Indians were just 
in their rear and how they had massacred the people just west of them, none knew 
how many. After camping for dinner at this place, and seeing the last citizen 
disappear toward the States, I pushed on toward the Little Blue, camping in the 
valley, and saw two Indians about five miles away on a hill as I went into camp. 
The next dav passed Ewbanks (Ubanks) ranch, and found there little children 
from three to seven years old, who had been taken by the heels and swung around 
against the cabin beating their heads into a jelly. The hired girl was found some 
fifteen rods from the ranch, staked out on the prairie, tied by her hands and feet, 
naked, and her body full of arrows and horribly mangled. Not far from this was 
the body of Ewbanks, whiskers cut off, body most fearfully mutilated. The buildings 
had been burned and the ruins still smoking. Nearly the same scene of desolation 
and murder was witnessed at Spring ranch." 

He narrates further that this raid on the Little Blue was made by the Cheyenne 
Sioux under the command of Black Kettle, One-Eyed George Bent, Two Faces 
and others. Mrs. Ewbanks and Miss Laura Boyer were carried away captives, and 
were ransomed from the Indians, who brought them to Fort Laramie in January, 
1865. This band of Indians, Captain Palmer says, was attacked by Colorado troops 
under the command of Col. J. M. Chivington, on November 29, 1864, in their 
camp on Sand Creek, about one hundred and ten miles southeast of Denver, and 
some six hundred men, women and children killed. It was supposed this Chiv- 
ington victory would stop this tribe from its course, but the Cheyenne and 
Arapahoes seemed determined to go ahead. On the 7th of January, 1865, more 
than one thousand Indians appeared suddenly before Fort Julesburg, and in a 
battle that ensued for several hours, fourteen soldiers and fifty-six Indians were 
killed. An expedition under command of General Mitchell started from Fort 
Cottonwood down the Republican Valley on January 16, 1865, and went llinnigh 
twelve days of terrible suffering in below zero weather in this pursuit. 


1S6I). In June. 1869, an expedition comnuuuled by Gen. K. .V. Carr. of the 
Fifth Cavalry, with eight companies of regular troops and three companies of 

50 lllsrol.'V OF NKHKASKA 

Pawnee scouts uiuler eommaml of Major Frank Xortli. started down the Republican 
Valley to clear it of these nKiraiidcis. At a ]ioint which was called Summit 
Springs, in the corner of Colorado, the Indians, comprising Sioux and "Dogsoldiers,"' 
renegades from various tribes, were completely routed. Fifty-two of them, in- 
cluding Tall Bull, were killed. Two women, Mrs. Susannah Alderdice and Mrs. 
Weichel, were in camp, where Tall Bull had kept them as wives since their capture 
on the Saline Eiver in Kansas. he .shot rather than risk their capture, but 
Mrs. AVeichel was saved and a large purse raised in camp for her benefit. Even 
after this episode the Buck surveying party was massacred, captured or otherwise 
disappeared, and a Daugherty party narrowly escaped such a fate. 

However, this appears to have been the last time the Indians resisted the military 
in this part of Nebraska, and no serious losses were suffered after that, except the 
famous Cheyenne raid of 18TS. 

1878. Without going into tli,- dramatic story of the flight of the Cheyenne 
from their reservation in Indian U'crritory, where they had been placed two years 
before, to their old haunts in the Black Hills, suffice it to say that three hundred 
of that tribe, under the leadership of Dull Knife, Little Wolf, Wild Hog and Old 
Crow, comprising but eighty-nine warriors, the remainder being women and 
children, crossed the Nebraska-Kansas boundary line on October 1, 1878. They 
eluded the detachments of .soldiers and posses of civilians for some weeks, and 
were not brought to bay until they reached the northwestern corner of the state. 
There, in a winter campaign, they were practically exterminated. They had killed 
thirty-two peo]ile in Rawlins ami Decatur counties, Kansas, but so far as known 
only one man lost his life in Xcliraska. (^leorge Eowley, who kept a ■•eowcanip" at 
Wauneta Falls. 

1876. The next dcteiiiiincd stand of the Sioux in a niilitai'v way does not 
belong to Nebraska history. That was the campaign of I87(j-T7, which came upon 
the heels of the discovery of gold in the Black Hills and the white man's exodus into 
that region. The main event of that camijaign was the surprise and massacre of the 
intrepid Gen. George A. Custer and his entire command of nearly three hundred 
regular troops in the bluffs of the Little Big Horn country under the leadership of 
Sitting Bull. Four days later General Crook arrived upon the battlefield, and in a 
series of fights took summary revenge upon the Indians. Of these Sitting Bull with 
several thousand followers escaped to Canada uherc lie remained till 1881, when he 
returned on |iromise of amnesty. 

]s;i(i. Another treaty had been made in iss:i. I.y which the Sioux surrendered 
the riche-t hinds (if the "Great Si<inx reservation" endn'aciug all of South Dakota 
west of thr Mi>s(inri. foi- \]\r small distinct reservations and certain annuities. In 
1890 anothc r small onthrrak of i irachcry was attempted at Wounded Knee, on the 
White llivir. hy a hand which had voluntarily surrendered. When this affray, 
which had ihroatcnrd the cMoiinination of the unsuspecting regulars was over, 
some three luindiod icds were dead. In this war, old Sitting Bull and members 
of his family wcic killed. Derendier l.'i. ls:i(i. hy soldiers sent to arrest him. 

The Sioux were typieal nomad hunters and warriors. Numerically and physi- 
cally slnniii. thev made themseUo mastei's of the hnffalo plains, no other tribes 
being ahle to make a >iieec->ful >iand auain-t them. Thj census of 1900 placed 
tlie nation at ■M.oiin. di^inhuted a> lo|low> :— Canada (refugees from U. S.) 600; 
Jlinnesota. :i:!ii: .Montana, l.lsi); Xehraska (Sanfee Ageiiev) 1.31i>; Xortii Dakota, 


4,630; South Dakota- (Clieyeiine Itiver, Crow Cm-k. Lower Brule. Pine KiJge aiul 
Rosebud Agencies) 15,480. 

Othki; Tiubes of Indians 
the omahas 

Tliis tribe, a part of the Dakotas, or Dakotah Sioux, formerly resided north 
of the Missouri River, in Dakota. But being harassed by other tribes of the Sioux 
family, it is supposed they moved into Nebraska early in the eighteenth century. 
Marquette represents them on his map in 1673. 

I'tGG. Cover found them on the St. Peter's, where they formed two tribes — 
the Hongashonos, and the Ishbanondas, or Grey Eyes — divided into fourteen elans, 
one of which preserved a sacred shell in a rude temple. 

1780. By this time they were traced to a point on the Missouri, at or near 
the mouth of the Big Sioux River, and soon afterwards crossed to the ^vest side 
of the Missouri and settled on the Niohriua. 

1804. Lewis and Clark found them, nunii)i'ring about six liundred. Being 
pursued relentlessly by the Sioux and greatly reduced in numbers by smallpox, they 
burned their village on the Niobrara and removed to the Blackbird Hills. Black- 
bird is the name that was first given to present Thurston County. 

1815-1830. Treaties were made with them on July 20, 1815, September 20, 
1825, and July 15, 1830, ceding lands at Council Bluffs (Fort Calhoun as now- 
known ) for an annuity, blacksmith shop and agricultural implements. 

1830. After the treaty of 1830, they formed their villages at Bellevue, south of 
present city of Omaha, and near the trading post of Col. Peter A. Sarpy, and 
at Saling"s Grove, where they remained until June, 1855. 

1839. Overtures of peace between the Omaha and their relentless enemies the 
Sioux failed of accomplishment. A mission established with them by Presbyterian 
authorities failed of much success. 

1843. The Omahas returned to their villages and made peace with certain bands 
of the Sioux. 

1846. Another mission established with them had but little more success than 
that of 1839. 

1854. March 16th. A treaty was made by which the Omahas ceded their lauds 
adjoining the Missouri, and north of the Platte and towards the Elkhorn. 

1855. In July of this year, their great chief Logan Fontanelle was killed by 
the Sioux while on a hunting expedition. In this year, this tribe removed to their 
reservation of 345,000 acres set forth for them by the Government, in Blackbird, 
now Thurston County. 

1879. Their number had dwindled to a population of 1,050. 


The Otoes belonged to the Dakota family and were originally a part of the 
Missouris. Their home in Nebraska was originally on the west bank of the 
Missouri River about thirty miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. They 
were of a wandering disposition, frequently uu)ving about from point to point. 


1673. The Freuch reported on tliciii under name of Attanka. but they called 
themselves Wahoohtahta. 

1819-20. Major Long in his reports upon thcjii ;l--(iIii1 that tlie Otoes -were a 
band from a great nation living at the head of tin' Mi--ivMiiiii Eiver, from whom 
they separated in about 1724, coming west to the .Mi>snun tiiver, their first settle- 
ment in Nebraska being near the mouth of the Great Xeniaha Eiver. Their next 
camping ground was on the Platte, fifteen or twenty miles from the mouth, from 
which camp some of their chiefs probably visited the Lewis and Clark Expedition 
in 1804, at the latter's camp on the bluffs of the Missouri, sixteen miles above Omaha, 
from which incident the place derived its name of Council Bluff. 

1817-1854. Treaties were made with them on June 24, 1817, and September 
26, 1825, and by the treaty'of March 25, 1854, the confederated tribes of Otoes and 
Missouris ceded their rights to the lands lying along the Missouri, and were removed 
to a reservation of 16,000 acres on the southeastern border of the state. This site 
was largely in what is now the south part of Gage County, and lapped over into the 
southeast corner of Jones County — now Jefferson — and took in some land in 
Marshall and Washington counties, Kansas. 

1879. A new treaty was made whereby these Indians were to sell their lands and 
remove to Lidian Territory. 

1881. After the foregoing mentioned sale, the Otoes and Missouris moved to 
Indian Territory. 


This tribe is a part of the Dakota family. 

1793. Lived then in Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

1863. After several treaties had been made with them, they moved to Crow 
Creek, in Dakota, above Fort Eandall. That place was unsuited to them, and 
afforded no means of livelihood. Deaths were so numerous from disease, war and 
famine, that but 1,222 were left out of 1,985. They left there and came to the 
Omaha reservation and applied for shelter. 

1866. May. Eemoved to Winnebago, to commence anew. They are a quiet, 
peaceable people, generally wearing citizens" clothing. They lived during tlie "80s in 
houses, built for them, and did not maintain a regular village. They played no 
active part in Indian annals of Nebraska. 

This tribe resided for many years on a reservation near the mouth of the 
Niobrara Eiver, in Dakota Territory. They were originally a branch of the Mahas 
or Omahas, and resided on the Eed Eiver of the North. Losing so greatly from 
repeated attacks by the Sioux, they removed to the opposite side of the Missouri 
Eiver and built a fortified village on the Ponca Eiver. While they unitnl with the 
Omaha, they generally kept apart. 

1804-1832. They were small in nuuilicr when the visit of Lcwi:^ and Clark was 
made. By treaties of June 28, 1817. and .lunc 9. is-j.".. they iniiinivcd somewhat, 
and in 1832 numbered 750. 

1858. :Marcli 12th. Thev sold their hinds to the Government and went <in a 


reservation near the Yanktons, the compensation to be in instalhnents of $185,000 
with the support of their schools and agricultural aid. Prior to this treaty, the 
Poncas had not received veiy good protection under their treaty relations and their 
lands had been considerably invaded and seized by squatter settlers. But from the 
day they signed away what land rights they had left, in 18.58, their real sufferings 
began. The Government failed to keep full faith with them much of the money 
appropriated was stolen by dishonest agents and contractors, and their old enemy, 
the Sioux, robbed them of whatever the white man overlooked. 

1874. The Poncas now numbered 730 and 132 half-breeds. They were then 
assigned to the care of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

1876. It was decided to remove them to a reservation in Indian Territory. By 
this time, the Poncas had acquired many of the arts of civilization, and it was hard 
for them to leave the home they had lived in for so many years. Forcibly removed 
from their homes, they were compelled to march on a long weary journey of three 
months to their new homes. 

1879. Thirty of this tribe, with Standing Bear as their chief, left their 
southern reservation and returned to the Omaha reserve. A detachment of soldiers 
was ordered to take them back. But this proceeding resulted in some interesting 
litigation. Upon their arrival at Omaha, a writ of habeas corpus was sued out, and 
heard before Judge Dundy, of the United States Court, wherein Hon. A. J. Popple- 
ton and J. L. Webster volunteered their services. This came up on May 2d, and after 
a careful hearing they were released from custody. Judge Dundy decided that an 
Indian is a "person" within the intent and purpose of the constitution and released 
the prisoners. They were finally restored to the old Omaha reserve home and 
allowed to remain there in contentment. 


These three tribes, about 1880, occupied a reservation in the southeastern corner 
of the state, extending over into Kansas. These tribes never played a very great part 
in Xebraska Indian annals. 


Considerable mention 1ki> 1 ii made in the foregoing account of the Sioux in 

Nebraska of the trjlics iliai dwelt mainly in western and southwestern Nebraska. 

The Arapahoes iitnl Cliri/i'iiiirs occupied Nebraska as roaming tribes. They were 
pressed by the Sioux from the east and the Shoshones from the west. The south- 
western section of the state, including Dundy and Chase counties, together with the 
high plains of eastern Colorado, were occupied by the Arapahoe and Cheyennes, who, 
from a time antedating the coming of the white men had held the headwaters of 
the Republican and its largest western tributary, the Frenchman, against the aggres- 
sions of all other tril)es. 

Before the advent of railroads, settlements were slow in southwestern Nebraska, 
and that territory was off the regular trails. The Oregon and California trails to 
the north and Smoky Hill route to soutli. kept operations away from this part 
of the country until the late '60s. 

I11S'I<i|;Y of nkhkaska 


For several years, before the beginning of the Civil war, bands of Kiowas and 
Comanches had been ranging up in this vicinity, and in rounding them up on the 
pursuit northward, a detachment of troops, under command of Captain Sturgis, 
located them near the Itcpiiblii-an fork, north of IV-aver Creek. Twenty-nine were 
killed in tlie long. Imnl skirinislirs that resulted. 


Several battles had been fought along the Xorth Tlatte. between ISr.O and 1860, 
in keeping these western Xebraska Indians rounded up. The most notable in 
Xebraska annals of these skirmishes was that at Ash Hallow, where General Harney 
defeated a large body of Indians, in 1855. It was at this battle that General Harney 
received the title of "The Hornet"' from the Indians. Little Thunder, afterward 
a Brule chief, in describing this fight to W. M. Hinman, then interpreter at Fort 
McPherson (in Lincoln County) says the Indians called General Harney "The 
Hornet" because in this encounter they considered themselves badly stung. 


There are two sides to every question, and while many are the terrible depreda- 
tions and heartless, relentless cruelties detailed in the foregoing pages, as suffered 
by the hardy white pioneers at the hands of the redskins, there are those among the 
pioneers, who relate the other side of this question. When the white man came he 
found the original American, the Indian, in possession of all the vast acres of fair 
Xebraska. For centuries this had been his hunting-ground and home, undisturbed. 

Then comes in the paleface, who not only takes the acres to live upon, cuts down 
such timbers as he needs, or clears such land as he wishes to cultivate, but the 
whites wasted timber by the thousands of acres in those early decades, just as they 
wasted the precious meat of the waning, disappearing bison and buffalo. Xo less 
an authority than Buffalo Bill narrated that he alone had killed over 2,000 buffaloes 
for a railroad camp in Kansas. As one settler of Hall County has expressed it for 
the compiler of these pages : 

"Everybody was shooting the Indians" meat supply, and most of it rotted away 
on the prairie for nothing. This grieved the Indians' heart beyond expression, and 
it created a hatred or revenge against the 'palefaces' or 'Chiekestalkers.' What 
more did the white man do? He swindled, lied, corrupted, where he had a chance 
toward the Indian, and some more villainous of our race even sold the redmen 
smallpox infected blankets, causing their death in great numbers." 

Many pioneers have expressed the wonder that the Indians got mad at last and 
turned out to be most unmerciful brutes to the white man. Other students of the 
time have attributed, in part, the raids of 186-t, to the a.ssurances of the Mormons 
that retaliation could be taken upon the Government while it w-as busy with the 
southern secessionists. Some settlers, in reflecting upon these things have even 
wondered that the redskin allowed the paleface to stay at all. The white man 
writes the history, and whatever the redskin would say, could he record these pages, 
his age in Xebraska is mo.stly past. Except for the few now living on reservations 
in the corners of the state, the present generation of Xebraskans cannot come in 
touch firi^t-band to furiu their judgment. 

Before Territorial Daiis 








The liiston- of Xebraska naturally begins with the history of the United States, 
or even to take the point still finer, with the history of the Continent. Wherever 
each individual student of history will agree that the history of the United States 
begins, there might we begin the history of Nebraska. But it is unnecessary to con- 
sume pages of the earlier history of our Nation. But there are a few events preceding 
the actual formation of Xebraska into a territory, or even preceding the first en- 
croachment of the white man upon the native possessor of this vast, fertile empire, 
Tlie American Indian. 


When Christopher Columbus dared to adventure where others feared to go, and 
by his single voyage revealed to the astonished gaze of Europe the existence of 
undreamed lands of wonder and beauty, he welded the first link in a chain of 
explorations and discoveries that paved the way for the great Middle West of 
America, and the garden-spot we love to call Xebraska. So to trace the evolution 
of Xebraska, we will briefly dwell upon the more important of these events. 

By striking from the enslaved and paralyzed mind of the Eastern Hemisphere, 
and banishing the chains of fear and ignorance, Columbus opened up to the 
descendants of Euro])ean peoples the fertile plains of Xebraska just as much as 
any other part of the I'liited States. 

In 14!):!. tlic year fnllcwing, th.' pope granted to the Kiii.u' and Quwu of Spain 
'•all countries inlial)ited by inlidcls." Of course, at that time the extent of the 
great continent discovered \)\ Ccilunilms was not known, but. in a vague way, tlie 
pai)al grant included Nebraska. 

Vol. 1—5 55 


Of course, other voyagers had traversed the Atlantic and in recent years, con- 
flicting claims have been made, Tending to bestow the honor of discovering this 
hemisphere upon other explorers than ('olurabus, but to all of these hardy, daring 
pioneers belong the honor of opening to the world the great country. 

1493-1500. About 1496, Henry YII of England, granted to John Cabot and 
his sons a ]iatent of possession and trmlr tu "iill lands they may discover and claim 
in the niiiiic (if the English crown." IVtwcrii tiicn aii<l the eml of that centurA", 
the C'abots explored the Atlantic Coast and made disr<ivfiirs ii]»iii which England 
claimed practically all of the central part of North Aniciici. 

1500-1539. Further northward, the French, through the (li.-i-ovcries of Jacques 
f'articr. laid claim to the vallry (if the St. Lawrence River and the region about 
the (ii'eat Lakes, from which tlicy pushed their explorations westward toward the 
headwaters of the Mississippi Kiver, and southward into the valley of the Ohio. 

Xoue of these expeditious yet affected the Mis.*ouri River region, but they 
laid the foundations for the struggle that opens American history, wherein three 
great nations — Knghuid. France and Spain — were contesting for this new "garden 
plot (if the world."' The |ie(i]ile of all western Europe had been enmeshed through- 
out the fifteenth century in the feudal ideas handed down to them from centuries 
preceding. During the early sixteenth century, they began to emerge from this 
enveloping worship of the few. and for the first time since the modern Europe had 
arisen from the fragments of the Roman Empire were its governments coming into 
the hands of able rulers. The common people of each country were beginning to 
think for themselves along the currents that evolved the influences and motives that 
from one to three hundred years later drove their descendants across the broad 
Athuitic and impelled them half-way across the undeveloped Western Continent to 
the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri valleys. 

In November, 1519, Hernando Cortez, with a .-jtrong force of Spanish soldiery, 
entered Mexico, captured Montezuma, the "Mexican Emperor," and after a two 
years' war succeeded in establishing Spanish supremacy. Cortez soon afterwards 
fell into disfavor with Spanish authorities, but he had planted the seeds of Spanish 
supremacy. This event is in a way far removed from Nebraska's direct history, but 
the stamp of Spain which he and his companions placed upon the western hemis- 
phere made itself felt in the earlier history of Nebraska and her neighbor states. 

The Spaniards maintained their government over the Mexican region by military 
governors until in 1580, when Antonio de Mendoza was appointed viceroy, with 
almost unlimited powers. He was known as the "good viceroy." Under Mendoza 
and his successors, many Indians were converted to the Catholic faith and explora- 
tion and settlement were pushed northward into Texas, New Mexico and California. 

1541-2. Henumdo De S(St6 and liis e\|ie(lition came into the interior of the 
United States. He had left Cuba, of which he was governor, on May 12, 1539, with 
about one thousand men, for the purpo.*e of exploiting the interior of Florida. I-ike 
all Spanish explorers, his chief object was to find rich mines of precious metals. 
lie WMndere.l on nntil lie ..niie to the Mississippi River in the spring of 1511. He 
died on his way to the Spanish >eltlements in .Mexico. Iiut his name has Ined as the 
(li.scoverer of the louer Mississippi, and upoji the report maih' hy those of his exjiedi- 
tion who retnnied to Kloiida. Spam claimed "all the land l.onlcnng on the (Irande 
River and the (iulf of .Mcxi.d."' 



1541. But it was from the far southland came the first adviMiturcrs wliu came 
near enough, if not actually upon Nebraskan soil, to bring the white man's story up 
to this vicinity. It fell to the lot of the romantic Spaniard to shed poetic glamour 
over the first pages of Nebraska history. It was the far-famed expedition of Cavalier 
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, which left Compostela, Mexico, on February 23, 
1540, and reached "the 40th degree of latitude" according to tradition, in 1541. 
A wanderer, called "Stephen the Moor" who returned from a search in the Sierra 
Mountains and the plains of what is now western United States, with stories of 
the "seven cities of Cibola" started the quest in Coronado's heart. Coronado left 
with 300 Spanish soldiers and 800 natives. Three accounts of his famed expedition, 
one by himself, one by his lieutenant, Jaramillo, and the third by a private soldier 
named Castaneda, all agree that they reached the seven cities of the fables, but 
found only seven insignificant villages. Chagrined by the failure of his prospects, 
Coronado, instead of returning, pushed forward. The winter of 1540-1 was spent 
in tierce warfare with Indian tribes, and upon those vanquished, the story of Spanish 
cruelty burns into American Indian history, a sad chapter against the Christian 
conquerors. At this juncture an Indian warrior appeared before ('(iicinado with a 
strange story about "the great kingdom of Quivera" many leagues to the luirtheast. 
It was pictured as a wonderful land, "with its river seven miles wide, in which 
fishes large as liorses were fuuiiil ; its immense canoes; its trees hung with golden 
bells, and dishes of solid gold." This I'emarkable tale had its effect on the Spaniards, 
who took the bait, and weiv KmI s,une ^{Mi miles MWiiv into the wild iiitei-ior. In July 
the expedition, which had been simmered >U>\\n to thirty picked men before it left 
the Texan country, reached a group of tepee villages near the border line between and Nebraska. Coronado, satisfied at last that he had been duped by his 
guide, hanged that unfortunate to a tree on the banks of a stream which may have 
been the Republican or the Blue, in Nebraska. Farther to the north, he was told, 
was another large stream, presumably the Platte. But no records are left to show 
that he approached this river any nearer. But thus far, it is known, that he turned 
eastward, marching until he reached the banks of a "large tributary of the 
Mississippi," no doubt the Missouri. And there he set up a cross with the inscrip- 
tion: "Thus far came Francisco de Coronado, Ceneral of an Expedition." 

Much discussion has ensued as to whether Coronado ever really set foot upon 
Nebraska soil. Judge James W. Savage, whose infeicstini: |i,ii>ei- ii|i(iii tliis subject 
is published in the Nebraska State Historical So( iet\ l,'e|i(iii. ,,( issii, argues that 
Coronado could not have failed to reach the riaite or :ii least the l{ei)ulilican in 
Nebraska. Coronado's own record thnt he leached the 40th latitude may have 
placed him north of the Kansas line or imiy not have. It is the consensus of opinion 
among students of this question that the (Quivera Indians were |)robably the 
Wichitas— that the true site of "Quivera" is probably in tlu' valley of the Kansas 
River in the vicinity of Fort Riley. 

In any event, when Coiona.lo turned his baek to this )ioitioii ot tlie United 
Stales, the darkness of barbarism settled down tor more than another eentiiry. 

1599. Don Juan de Onate led an expedition from New Mexico, which is reputed 
to have reached Quivera, in 1599. He described his arrival at the City of Quivera, 
"which is on the noith bank of a wide and shallow river." If the conjecture that 


this is the Platte River if? correct, a battle he described with the Escanzaques would 
have been upon Nebraska soil. But not much credence is placed in this romantic 
story, and no permanent effect was left upon Nebraska history, to say the least. 
1662. This was the year of the mythical expedition of Don de Penalosa, called 
the "Duke of Penelosa."" lie is reputed to have come upon a war party of the 
Escanzaques, in that suniiiirr. "neMr a wide and rapid river." These Indians were 
reputed to live near the 4i)th latitiidr, and his' story of a village, situated in the 
vicinity of the Platte T\i\er, with thousands of houses, circular in shape, some two 
to even four stories in height, is not credited seriously in Nebraska history. 


Spain had made no direct effort to civilize the vast region she already laid claim 
to by right of discovery. But France and England, in the meantime, w-ere becoming 
rivals for the affections and ]X)Ssession of these new fields of conquest. England was 
establishing herself along the Atlantic Coast and her adventurous progress did not 
touch this central western region yet. But France was gaining a foothold on 
Quebec and ]insliiiig Iht huM up the f 

The first uumi m ciitrr uihui a Msti 
Nebraska, is a pai-t were the .Icsniis. ( 
religious society louiiilcd liy Igiiatiu: 

1611. As caily a. Kill, thr .lr>u 
Canada were aiiKniL;- tlu' Iiiiliaii> wIki 
Lake Superior. Like the Cortez Sp; 
affect Nebraska directly, but was pavi 

1665. Claude Alloucz, one of the i 
Indians in the vicinity of Asliland Bay, on Lake Supnidr. and licld a conference with 
a iiumlier of tribes. In 1(!(;S, Alloucz and another ini>.-ionary. Father Claude 
Dablon, founded the mission of St. Mary's, the oldest white settlement within the 
present state of Michigan. The next step forward was a council at St. Mary's in 
1671, led by Nicholas Perrot. In that same year, Father Jacques Marquette, another 
Jesuit missionary, founded the mission at Point St. Ignace, for the benefit of the 
Huron Indians, a point regarded for years as the key to the then unexplored West. 

On May 17, 1673, Marquette, with Louis Joliet, a young fur trader, set out on 
a perilous undertaking. After a month of steady pushing forward, paddling in 
canoes along the swift currents of unknown streams, and threading their way through 
dense forests, on June 17th they reached the mouth of the Wisconsin, near the 
present site of Dubuque, Iowa. They drifted on down the Mississippi, past the mouth 
of the Missouri, and on down to the mouth of the Ohio. They brought the em- 
blazoned trail of travel a little closer to the unlocked bosoms of the Nebraska prairies. 

1682. But it remained for another intrepid Frenchman to complete the work 
left unfinished by Marquette and .Idlii't. and take formal possession of Louisiana in 
the name of the King of France. 

The history of Nebraska is most generally and properly reputed to really begin 
with the voyage of this heroic La Salle in 1682. Before that, this sequence of 
events has read more like a romance; from then on. it begins to clothe itself in the 
practical garments (jf reality and a\o\vc(l purposes. l?obcrt Cavalier, Sieur do La 

St. Lawrenc 
cniatic cxpl, 

c IJiver. 

)vation of the vast region of which 

oi- niciiilicr^ 

of the Society of Jesus, a famous 

s Loyola, a 

Sjianish knight of the sixteenth 

lit missioiiai- 

ics from the French settlement in 

1. inliabitcd 

the shores of Lake Michigan and 

lanish exploi 

■at ions this was too far away to 

ing the way 

toi- the oncoming attention. 

most zealous 

of these .lesuit fathers, visited the 


Salle, commissioned to continue the explorations of Marquette and Joliet, "find a 
port for the King's ships in the Gulf of Mexico, discover the western parts of New 
France, and find a way to penetrate Mexico," discharged at least a major portion 
of his assignment. Suffice it to say that on April 8, 1682, La Salle and his 
lieutenant, Henri Tonti, passed through two of the channels at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, leading to the Gulf of Mexico, and set up his wooden column, on which 
had been inscribed the following: "Louis the Great, King of France and of 
Navarre, King, April 9, 1683." Thus the great basin of the Mississippi came 
under the scepter of Louis XIV, and standing on that delta of the river, La Salle 
called into existence the great territory of Louisiana, and Nebraska became a 
dependency of France. The vast territory of the northwest plains, peopled then 
only by savage Indian tribes, the abode of buffalo and otlier wild animals, rei-eived 
its first semblance of organized, political government. 

French explorations and expansion continued for almost a century following. 
In April, 1689, Nicholas Perrot took formal possession of the upper Mississippi 
Valley, and built a fort and trading post. Antoine Crozat, under a charter given in 
1712, combatted for five years with Spanish authorities to make good France's claim 
to lower Louisiana. He was succeeded by the Mississippi Company, which was 
organized by John Law as a branch of the Bank of France. In 1720, Law's schemes 
of colonization failed, and are known to history as the "Mississippi Bubble." Pierre 
and Paul Mallet, of New Orleans, in 1738, with other Frenchmen, ascended the 
Mississippi and Missouri rivers and spent the winter near the mouth of the 

The English in the meantime had not been idle. In 1620 the British Crown 
had ignored the Spanish papal grant and the explorations of De Soto, and issued to 
the Plymouth Company a charter including "all the lands between the fortieth and 
forty-eighth parallels of north latitude from sea to sea." As the fortieth latitude is 
the southern boundary of Nebraska, this grant, by implication at least, included 
the present state of Nebraska. In 1868, the Massachusetts Bay Company received 
a charter to a strip about one hundred ifiiles wide from "sea to sea," which if it 
could have been surveyed would have found the northern boundary almost coincident 
with Nebraska's northern boundary, and its southern boundary would have crossed 
the Missouri River about twenty miles above the present city of Omaha. Conflicting 
claims continued, until the French and Indian war materially changed the map of 
North America. But even after that, many people refused to submit to England's 
claim to territory lying outside of the boundaries of the territory she then claimed 
supremacy over, and came on westward and settled within the French and Spanish 
territory. The capture of these British posts of the Northwest was eventually the 
cause of the western boundary of the United States being fixed at the Mississippi 
River by the Treaty of 1783, which ended the Revolutionary war and established 
the Independence of the United States. 


The viceroys who ruled over the vast territory of New France in central America, 
may be said indirectly to be the first governmental administrators over this part 
of the continent from which Nebraska eventually sprang. 

60 iiis'i'duv ov xi;m;.\sKA 

Tiie >]hU'> c.f tlirso adriiinistnitions weru: 

Holicrt, Cavalier do La Salle 1683-1688 

Manniis de Sanville 1689-1700 

Bienville 1700-1712 

Lamothe Cadillar 171:3-1715 

De I/Epinay 1716-1717 

Bienville 1718-1723 

Boisbriaiit 1721 

Bienville 1732-1711 

Baron de Keleree 17.-53-1762 

D'Ahhadi,' 1763-1766 

At this jxiint, France was compelled by force of military necessity to yield to 
Spain her title to Louisiana. So for almost forty years, the administration of this 
region passed into Spanish hands, until in 1803. when the territory passed under 
the flag of the United States. The Sjianish governors of that period were: 

Antonio de Ulloa 1767-1768 

Alexander O'Keilly 1768-1769 

Louis de LTnzago 1770-1776 

Bernardo de Galvez 1777-1784 

Estevar Miro 1785-1787 

Francisco Luis Hortu, Baron of Carondelet 1780-1792 

Gayoso de Lemos 1793-1798 

Sebastian de Casa. Calvo y O'Farivl 1 789-1 79;i 

Jean itanual de Salcedo 1800-1803 

Despite the fact tiiat France had regainetl possession of Louisiana on October 1. 
1800, Governor Salcedo remained until the United States took formal possession. 


Lnniediately after American acquisition of this vast territory, men's minds l)egan 
to turn to the Northwest and the great possibilities of this virtually unknown region. 
It was indeed a tremendous acquisition to the territory of the young republic. It 
more than doubled the previous land area of the United States. In round numbers 
it exceeded 883,000 square miles. In addition to the State of Louisiana, out of this 
territory there have been carved the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, 
Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota, two-thirds of Minnesota, one-third of 
Colorado, and three-fourths of Wyoming. When it came to the United States, 
its entire poimlation did not exceed iive thousand souls, nearly one-half of w^hom 
were slaves. In isio, the first federal census showed a jiopidatioii of twenty 
thousand, of whom one-half were still negro slaves. Now it has a population, in 
1920. .>!' around lil'tem million. 

1801. When Jetterson negotiated the purchase of this vast region, it was an 
almost unknown land except to Indians, traders, hunters and some French priests. 


Mfiitidii has already heuii madf uf some few vi.siturs to this Nehraska region among 
the Frenr-h missionaries and explorer?. Pierre and August Chouteau, hrothers 
engaged in the fur trade, are known to have passed beyond the forks of the Platte 
away back in 1762. ^NTo doubt other traders, whose visit did not reach the recorded 
pages of history, likewise temporarily sojourned in this Xehraska area prior to 1804. 
But that date marks the real beginning of opening this part of the western poiintrv 
up to eastern attention. 

The Lewis and Clark expedition left St. Louis on the 14th of May. 1.S04. and 
spent two whole years exploring the great purchase. This party, consisting of nine 
young men from Kentucky, fourteen soldiers of the United States army who 
volunteered their services, two French watermen, an interpreter and hunter, and a 
black .servant belonging to Captain Clark, and several other members set forth. 
They came in sight of the present Nebra.ska on the afternoon of July 11, 1804, and 
camped opposite the mouth of the big Nemaha. 

This party recorded .556 miles of river front for Xebi'aska in 1S(I4. and their 
journals furnish the first detailed report upon this region, and served materially in 
familiarizing the East with this vast region and its unlimited resources, and ]>aved 
the way for commercial ventures that followed soon thereafter. 

Lack of space will forbid going into detail coneerning the brave work accom- 
plished by Lieut. William Clark and Capt. Meriwether Lewis, and their immediate 

1805. This year brought the first known settlement upon Nebraska soil. Manuel 
Lisa, a wealthy Spaniard, with a party in search of trading grounds, reached the 
lands north of the Platte. The beauty of the spot caused him to exclaim "Bellevue," 
which name was given to the spot. A trading post was established at Bellevue, and 
we have now reached the point of first settlements. 

1806. In this year, Gen. James Wilkinson, then eonnuander-in-chief of the 
United States army and also governor of the territory of Louisiana, sent forth the 
expedition of Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, which resulted in the discovery of Pike's 
Peak, in Colorado. It has been somewhat a subject of controversy whether 
this party, in its travel along a route somewhat south of the Platte, really crossed 
north into Nebraska or stayed in northern Kansas. But it is generally thought that 
Lieutenant Pike in September, 1806, visited a Pawnee village in the Eepublican 


1810. The American Fur Company, that monster monopoly under the control 
of John Jacob Astor, took the first real steps to exploit this northwestern country 
for commercial purposes. In 1810, Astor organized the Pacific Fur Corporation, a 
partnership including himself, Wilson Price Hunt, Robert Stuart and others for 
the purpose of colonization and trade at the mouth of the Columbia River. The 
Astorian Ex]>edition started out in September, 1810, and founded .\storia at the 
head of the Columbia River in the spring of the following year. 

1811. JIuntV ])arty of A.storians passed up the Nebra.ska "river eoasf early 
in 1811. 

1813. On the 28th of June, 1812. Kobert Stuart starte.l fmni Astoria with 
five of Hunt's original party for a return overland trip. In sdutbeastern Idaho 


they were joined by four men, whom Hunt had left there the October preceding. After 
a journey of terrible hardships they established winter quarters on the Xorth Platte 
Eiver, not far east of the place where it issues from the mountains. Driven out 
of their first stopping place by hostile Indians, they came over three hundred miles 
eastward along the Platte River, and in December, 1812, established winter camp 
in what is now the Scotts Bluff country. 

1813. This party came down the Platte River in sin-mg of 181.3. It is 
chronicled that they came down this river to "Great Island,"" which is probably the 
first official mention of the future Grand Island. At least they proceeded to a 
point forty-five miles from the mouth of the Platte, and there on April 16, 1813, 
embarked in a large canoe thev secured from the Indians. 


1819. The passage of Maj. Stephen H. Long and a party of twenty men from 
the Missouri Eiver iip the Platte to its head waters is the next event of importance 
in this period of Nebraska's history. The most interesting feature of Major Long's 
visit to Nebraska is, perhaps, his account of the hopelessness of central Nebraska 
for future development. 

In regard to the Platte Valley, he recorded : 

"In regard to this extensive section of country, I do not hesitate in giving the 
opinion that it is almost wholly unfit for cultivation and of course uninhabitable by 
a people depending upon agriculture for their subsistence." 

In his final estimate. Major Long summed up his ideas of the utility of this cen- 
tral Nebraska territory, as follows: — 

"Although tracts of fertile land considerably extensive are occasionally to be 
met with, yet the scarcity of wood and water, almost uniformly prevalent, will prove 
an insunnountable obstacle in the way of settling the country. This objection rests 
not only against the section immediately under consideration, but applies with equal 
propriety to a much larger portion of the country. 

"This region, however, viewed as a frontier, may prove of infinite importance to 
the United States, inasmuch as it is calculated to serve as a barrier to prevent too 
great an extension of our population westward, and secure us against the machina- 
tions or incursions of an enemy that might otherwise be disposed to annoy us in 
that part of our frontier."' 

In a somewhat similar view, another narrator of the same expedition. Doctor 
James, paid about as correct a tribute to Nebraska : 

"We have little apprehension of giving too unfavorable an account of this 
portion of the country. Though the soil is in some places fertile, the want of 
timber, of navigable streams, and of water for the necessities of life, render it an 
unfit residence for any but a nomad population. The traveler who shall at any time 
have traversed its desolate sands will, we think, join us in the wish that this region 
may forever remain the unmolested haunt of the native hunter, the bison, and 
the jackal." 

If Major J^ong and Doctdr .Tames cmild only see Nt'liraska in l!tl!»-l!i30, don"t 
you suppose, dear reader, tliey would at least request the privilege of "another 
guess" ? 



1820-1850. In tlie thirtj- years following Major Long's trip through Nebraska, 
the tide of exploration kept on the rise. Space does not permit of going into detail 
into these various expeditions, but there are a few of these courageous prospects 
whose memory deserves the tribute of at least a passing mention. 

Thomas Nutall and Jolm Bradbury spent a part of 1808 in the Nebraska terri- 
tory botanizing. 

Manuel Lisa was not only the founder of Old Nebraska, but his life in this 
territory was romantic. He led in the explorations of this territory, established 
trading posts, and opened trading relations with the Indians. He somewhat 
emulated the example of some Indians in having more than one wife. Every year 
from 1807 to 1819, inclusive, with perhaps one exception, he made trips into the 
Northwest. While he had a white wife in St. Louis he married an Omaha Indian 
girl, telling her people he had another wife down the river. This Indian wife, 
Mitain, was the mother of his daughter, Rosalie, and son Raymond. After the 
death of his wife in St. Louis, he married in 1818, Mary Hempstead Keeney, who 
survived him many years and was familiarly known as "Aunt Manuel." She was 
the first white woman to come into Nebraska, with the possible exception of Madam 
Lajoie in 1770. Lisa died in 1820, but "Aunt Manuel" lived nearly fifty years 

Milton Sublette in the spring of 1830 traveled over nearly the same trail Robert 
Stuart used in 1813. 

Capt. Benjamin Louis Eulalia Bonneville took a party of about one hundred 
men with twenty-four horse wagons over the Oregon trail in 1832. He took the 
first wagon train over that part of the trail known as the cut-ofE between Independ- 
ence, Kansas, and Grand Island, Nebraska. 

Peter A. Sarpy became agent for the American Fur Company at Bellevue, and 
for about thirty years was the leading spirit of that region. He first came to 
Nebraska about 1823 as a clerk for this same company. He was intimately asso- 
ciated with the Indians of his period, and was accorded the title "White Chief" by 
the Omahas. He married according to Indian custom, Ni-co-mi (Voice of the 
Waters), a woman of the Iowa Indians, to whom he was greatly attached. 

John C. Fremont, the "Pathfinder," was detailed in 1842 to "explore and report 
upon the country between the frontiers of Missouri and the south pass of the Rocky 
Mountains and on the line of the Kansas and great Platte rivers." He followed the 
Oregon trail to the mountains, and left behind him a very descriptive and valuable 
report of the Nebraska country at that time. 

Col. Stephen W. Kearny made an expedition through the "Indian country"" in 
1845. He became an important figure in Nebraska's early history, and in his 
honor, with the spelling of the name slightly changed, has been named a county, 
Kearney, and one of the leading cities of the state, Kearney, as well as the historic 
forts, first near Nebraska City, and second, on the Platte, between present Kearney 
City and Lowell, Nebraska. 

Father Peter J. De Smet was a Belgian, who came as missionary to the 
Indians of the Platte and upper Missouri in 1838. He was the first Catholic 
missionary in this country, and here he worked for thirty years. He died in 1873, 
and was buried in St. Louis. 

64 1I1S-|()|;V OK XKintASKA 

George Catliii was the first painter of Nebraska scenery and Nebraska Indians. 
He made liis first voyage into this region in 1832. He painted pictures of Blackbird 
Hill, of the junction of the Platte and Missouri rivers, of prairie fires, buffalo 
hunting, Indian weapons, games, customs and portraits of prominent Indians, and 
since in those days there were no camera or moving-picture machines, Catlin's oil- 
paintings made Nebraska's first picture-gallery. 

Prince Maximilian, of Germany, made a trip up the Missouri River in 1833, on 
the second voyage of the steamer Yellowstone. In his publication of a three volume 
work on his American travels, the Nebraska of that day received practically its first 
introduction to elite Europe. 


1803. Taking up the governmental administration of this region, at the point 
when the Spanish Governor relinquished it t-o the United States in 1803. On April 
30th of that year, Napoleon Bonaparte, acting for France, ceded to the United States 
this 1,183,752 acres of land, in the most important real estate transaction in 
American history, for $1.5, 000, ()()(), or al>out 4 cents an acre. The American "Stars 
and Stripes" were raised in Nfw Orleans, and the purchase became formally 
American soil. 

1804. In this year, and less than sixty days after the first council was held 
on Nebraska soil, between representatives of the United States and Indians, at 
Fort Calhoun. Nebraska became part of the territoiy of Indiana. It so remained 
from October 1, 1804, until July 4, 1805. 

1805. On March 3, 1805, Congress changed the district of I>ouisiana to the 
Territory of Louisiana, and it remained a portion of that territory, with the capital 
at St. Louis, until in June, 1812. 

1812. At this time, the territory of Louisiana became the Territory of Missouri. 

1819. A bill was passed providing statehood for Missouri, and the territory of 
Arkansas was created out of the balance of the territorj' of Missouri. 

1820. After Missouri reached formal statehood the great western territory was 
throwTi into the "Indian Country." Woeful neglect of this region followed, until 
in 1834, the jurisdiction of the United States District Court of Missouri was 
extended over it, portions of it were annexed to Michigan and Arkansas territories. 
The slavery controversies, increased in bitterness by the controversies following the 
admission of Missouri, and the California problem, continued to interfere with 
development of governmental functions in this far-away region of the western part 
of the Louisiana purchase. 

Finally in the '40s and ^^Os, came the struggle to establish the territories of 
Kansas and Xcliraska, outlined in another chapter of this work, upon the 'J'erri- 
torial (iMMTiuiicnt of Nebraska. 


During the lialf century lietwcni the days of the military expedition of Lewis 
and Clark, and the iini\Ml ol' Manuel Lisa in 1805, and the actual organization of 
Nebraska into a territoiial g(jvcrnni('nt, circumstances conspired to send thousands 
of white men into, Init mostly through, Nebraska. First, the chain of explorers 


and adventurers whose effect upon and participation in Nebraska's early history lias 
already been detailed. Second, the soldiers who were sent in for various purposes 
by the Government. Third, the trappers and hunters, and the traders who came in. 
Fourth, the missionaries. Fifth, the emigrants who passed thmut^h tlic state, and 
lastly, the earlier settlers who stayed and made their homes in the unbroken uildcr- 

Those who passed through the state, or stayed but a short time, comprised mainly 
the emigrants going farther west; the Mormons and the gold seekers. These last 
two divisions of visitors or short-time residents will now be taken up briefly. 

First, in point of numbers and time, among these various migratory bands, came 
the Mormons. This religious sect had been driven from its home at Nauvoo, Illinois, 
and w^as now, after much buffeting around, massing on the banks of the Missouri, 
preparatory to crossing the "Great Desert" to the Promised Land lieyond the reach 
of law. They had crossed Iowa by various routes, squatting for a time here and 
there, and finally massing, in 1845 and 1846, about .six miles niutb of Omaha, at 
what is now known as Florence, but was then termed by the Mormons as "Winter 
Quarters." Here it is estimated by students that about fifteen thousand people con- 
gregated. The devastation wrought upon their wild lands by such an army of non- 
producers naturally aroused the wrath of the Indians, to whom those lands then 
really belonged. They felt that the Mormons were cutting too much timber. When 
this complaint began to bring about an exit of the Mormons, many took refuge on 
the east side of the river, in what is now Pottawattamie County, near Council Bluffs, 
Iowa. Soon an expedition of eighty wagons was sent out in search of a permanent 
home for the Latter Day Saints, and that action resulted in the selection of the Salt 
Lake Valley in Utah. But at what a cost ! The trail from Winter Quarters to Salt 
Lake City was indelibly marked out for later comers. Cast away garments, broken 
and burned vehicles, bleaching bones of cattle and horses fallen by the wayside, and 
graves of weary pilgrims scattered along the route of a thousand miles told the cost. 

Many a disheartened wanderer shrank from facing these hardships and preferred 
to settle along the route of progress in the fertile valleys of Nebraska. In this way 
numerous small Mormon settlements sprang up along the Platte and its forks. 
Among these, some of the most interesting, were the Genoa settlement in Nance 
County, and the Shelton settlement, at old Wood Eiver, clustered around the county 
line between Hall and Buffalo counties. At the Genoa settlement a large tract of 
land was enclosed and divided among a hundred or so families, comprising the 
original settlers, and they supposed foundations had been laid for solid prosperity. 
But, unfortunately for them, this land was part of the tract set aside for the Pawnee 
Indians, by the treaty of 1857. So they could not obtain title to these lands, and by 
reason of this fact, and the harassment of tbe Sioux and Pawnee, tliey bad to 
move on. 

The first Mormons had settled near Salt Lake City about 1847. The emigration 
continued from then for more than ten years. The fact that so many finally reached 
their destination was perhaps due to their careful organization when traveling 
in parties. Each man carried a rifle or musket and such discipline was maintained 
on the march that oftentimes the Indians passed up a s(|uad of Mormons and attacked 
a much larger body of emigrants. The route blazed liy tbe ^lornions from Keokuk, 

Iowa, to the Missouri Eiver gained the iia ol' tbe '■Morninn Trail." and Omaha 

became a favorite crossing point. i'"or a deeade or so. the tradi' \v'\t\\ these excur- 


sionists formed a profitable jiiirt of tin- Omaha business interests. They stayed but 
a few years in the Wood l?i\er \';illey between Grand Island and Fort Kearney, and 
they too passed westward. 


Xe.xt after the Mormons came the flood of emigrants to California, in search of 
the most seductive, most powerful, metal known to man. The fever of 1849, sweep- 
ing over the country, brought a veritable flood of emigration through the Platte 
Valley and played a material part in permanently blazing the numerous famous 
"trails" or "highways" through jSTebraska. This event had other effects upon the 
state. "The moving host left here and there a permanent impress on the laud.'"' In 
many instances, the land so channed the eye, and created so abiding an impression 
on the mind of many a beholder, that, wearied with the unequal contest of the 
camp, they abandoned the pick and spade for the surer implements of husbandry. 
Almost every Nebraska county can number among its earliest pioneers those 
adventurous spirits who chased tlie lure of the gold about so long, and then turned 
to the plow and herd for slower but surer competence and gain. Some stopped off; 
others went ou farther and returned; and many traversed the entire weary trail, and 
then disheartened retraced their steps this far. Another effect of this emigration 
was the establishment of a ferry between what is now Omaha and Council Bluffs, by 
William D. Brown, in 1851 or 1852. In 1853, he laid claim to the site of Omaha. 
The western travel, which had at first been crossing via "Winter Quarters,'"' as 
Florence was then called, began to divert rapidly to "Lone Tree"' as the site of 
Oiyaha was then called. 

"life on the plains"' 

A beautiful word-jiicture from the pen of Prof. Samuel Augliey, fw'ty years ago, 
will prove a fitting climax to this brief review of pre-territorial days of Nebraska. 

"Life on the plains ! What memories are awakened within the breast of many 
a resident of Nebraska at the 'sight and sound of those words.' ^When the golden 
spike was driven which bound together the iron links in the great national highway, 
the knell of that wild period in the history of the wild west was struck." The 
whistle of the first locomotive in its fierce rush across the hitherto trackless expanse 
ended forever that scene in the drama of progress, which was alike comedy and 
tragedy. 'I crossed the plains' are words, when spoken by the bronzed and hardy 
pioneer, which signify more than men of later generation can conceive of. The 
toiling caravan of emigrants to the El Dorado of the Pacific slope; the venturesome 
cavalcade of daring huntsmen ; the solitary group of mountaineers — a class peculiar 
to the "Eockies" — have passed beyond the view, and all that now remain of them 
are scattered traces of forgotten graves, a few survivors of those scenes, busied with 
other tasks, and vague traditions of the times, whicli horrify or charm, as deeds of 
murder, robbery or love perchance to give the coloring to the tale. 

"Nebraska was the highway to the West when lumbering wagons furnished the 
only means of transport, as now, when steam and palace cars augment the speed 
and comfort of the journey. Imagine — if you can — and you, survivor of the olden 
time, conjure \ip a vision of modern methods, as in fancy you live once more those 


days of liardsliip. Yoii lift your head from the damp earth, and hy the flickering 
light of waning camp fire, see the mighty engine dashing by, vrith train of sleeping 
coaches, freighted with shimbering voyagers. And, as you gather about the morning 
fire, with scanty meal, behold the men who look disgusted at their morning bill of 
fare within the dining coach, and sigh because their journey is a wearying one. 
They will reach their destinations within the week, while you can count the time 
liy months since you stood looking eastward, as night shut down upon you and 
blotted out the last rude traces of the 'States' ! And still long months of deprivation 
must ensue before you gain the end of that slow march. 

"Let us give place in this history to mention of those events which were, if not 
direct, at least subsidiary, agencies in the original settlement of Nebraska, and 
which demonstrated the fact that the Valley of the Platte was the only route of 
travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific within the limits of the more temperate 

We must not run amiss and devote our entire time in a work that is chronological 
and analytical of the evolution of the wonderful State of Nebraska from the wild 
prairie, abode of the Indian and his companions, the wild animals of the wilderness, 
to its present stages of development, without devoting at least a small space to a 
recital of the hardships and struggles, characteristic of those endured by the many 
thousands of pioneers, emigrants and first settlers, who each individually played 
their part in this drama. It is not possible to pause here and compile the roster for 
each county, of its early settlers, as we have stopped to pay tribute to a score or so 
early explorers and adventurers who led bands of people into or across the state. 
But a few hundred more words will also allow to embrace in our narrative a 
characteristic account of the journeys across these plains, endured by the gold seekers 
and early settlers alike. This is also from the pen of Nebraska's notable early 
historian Prof. Samuel xlughey. 

■•In remote times — remote for the West — the beginning of the "West" was at the 
Mississippi. Western Illinois and Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa were accessible by 
water by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The region beyond was known only to 
the courageous few who had braved the perils of a wilderness inhabited by hostile 
tribes. But, in 1850, when the fever for gold had spread throughout the East, the 
limits of civilization had extended so far that supplies of horses, mules, cattle, 
wagons, coffee, flour, bacon, sugar and the indispensables of a trip across the plains 
were obtainable at points on the Missouri River, in the State of Missouri. Parties 
endeavored to reach that stream early in the spring, that they might take advantage 
of the growth of vegetation as food for their teams. While some caravans followed 
the Arkansas (in the present state of Kansas), many more chose to come up the 
Missouri, and thence travel westward along the rich Valley of the Platte. Thus 
was first opened up to observant pioneers the beauties of this region. Hundreds of 
improvident but eager men set out so late in the season as to encounter the rigor of 
the winter in the mountains, and many perished miserably from exposure and starva- 
tion. Others started early enough to safely pass the Rocky Mountains, only to 
meet their fate in the inhospitable fastnesses of the Sierra Nevada, where snow 
frequently piles to the depths of thirty and forty feet in localities. Among the very 
early trials were the dangers incident to crossing a country inhabited by fierce 
Indians. If the truth could be known, probably every mile from the Missouri to the 
Pacific would demand at least one headstone to mark a victim's grave. The stages 

68 11IST(»1;Y of NKI'.RASKA 

of Hfc, from birth, to the eUjsiiig of tlic drama, were here exemplified. Many a poor 
motiier hushed her new-born babe amid the rough scenes of a camp, while she herself 
was' suffering from lack of those comforts so essential to maternity. Along the 
trackles.s plain many a maiden awoke tn the ifxclatidu of love, and many a troth 
was plighted. 

"At the time referred to, the whole region, from the Missouri to the Pacific, was 
vaguely known as 'the plains,' though it embraced almost every variety of country. 
First, the emigrant crossed the rich, rolling prairies of Nebraska. The soil grew 
thinnt r and thinner until it merged into dreary sand deserts. Upon these he found 
myriads of prairie dogs, sometimes living in towns twenty miles square herds of 
gracefid antelopes bounded over the hills, and huge, ungainly buffaloes, which num- 
bered millions then, blackened parts of the landscape. A day's journey was from 
ten to twenty miles. When the company halted for the night, they turned out tlieir 
animals to graze, with such precautions as served to prevent their escape; lighted a 
fire on the prairies of buffalo chips, and supped upon pork, hot bread or 'flap-jacks' 
and washed the frugal repast down with the inevitable tin cup of cofEee. Their 
trusty guns were kept within easy reach, and the whitened skull of a buffalo, perhaps 
killed by some emigrant long before in wanton sport, served as a seat. At night, the 
travelers slept soundly, with the blue of heaven for a canopy. The wagons were 
covered with stout canvas, and afforded protection to the few women and children 
dui'ing the later years of excitement. .Ml lieiame inured to the conditions of outdoor 
life. When large streams were veai lied, the heavy wagons were floated or hauled, 
and where it was convenient to do so, rude bridges were constructed over smaller 
streams. Every source of ingenuity was developed. If a wheel gave way, and the 
mechanical productiveness of the party could iiot replace it, a cottonwood log, with 
one end dragging on the ground, was made to serve instead. If a pole broke, another 
was extemporized from the nearest timber. J f an ox died, some luckless cow was 
yoked in bis place. Sometimes one family, or one party of half a dozen men, 
journeyed alone, and sometimes there were a hundred or more wagons in a single 
'train' with their white covers enveloped in an increasing cloud of dust. During 
the seasons when emigration was very heavy, caravans could, from an eminence, be 
seen stretching out for miles and miles, and at night every pleasant camping-ground 
was a populous village. The journey was not without its enjoyments, though one's 
philosophy was sorely tried at times. There were often long delays for hunting 
lost cattle, waiting for swollen streams to subside, or in climbing the mountains. 
Storms and mishaps frequently taxed ihr [.aticiKv of all. and sickness came to feeble 
Iranir and liardy men alike. The first of a long line of trains often climbed 
steep hills, instead of going the longer and easier way through ravines, and the 
followeis along the new roads were forced to desert the beaten track, and risk 
\intried courses, or labor on in their wake. It was not uncommon to see from ten 
to thirtv voke of oxen liitdicd to a >inglc wagon, working slowly up the mountain. 
'i'he suminit reached at la>t. the wagon w<i\ild be emptied, and, with a huge log' 
trailing heliind as a brake, the tfani> wo\ild descend to repeat their experience in 
a.-cending with other loads. The wild, majestic scenery along the way may have 
been a ]mrtial compensation to some lor the hardships they endured; but it is 
i-easonable to believe that few would have refused to forego those delights if thereby 
they might have gained easier transit. The tragedies of those days were numerous. 
Tlie verv nature of the journ.'v. and the ehances of sudden wealth, eomlnned with the 


freedom of the niainiev of tlie livini;-, ijathercil many a desiderate character in the 
civil army. The baser passions were ton often allowed full scope, and hence it must 
be recorded that many a villain U,m\<\ hi- end at the hands of outraged companions. 
The travelers were a law unto themselves, and irreed or lust were summarily avenged." 


In onr present state of prosperity and luqipiness. we must not be prone to 
forget the aspect that nature wore in tlmse primitive solitudes to the wandering 
view of the first inhabitants of onr state. We can well pause a bit, to go into a 
little more detailed examination of the pathways and methods of early travel and 
transportation of our state. The mighty wave of travel which has just been 
described in the immediately preceding pages naturally traversed a few beaten paths, 
and it is an examination of "beaten paths" we will now undertake. 

There is as yet but scanty knowledge of Indian or prehistoric routes of travel 
through Nebraska. From the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Pike's 
expedition, Fremont's expedition and Thwaite's admirable compilation of early 
explorations in this vicinity, we lind the accounts of the state of travel and the 
conditinn (if the territory then. The chroniclers of the '40s intimate that there 
were then no well defined trails between the locations of the different tribes of the 
Indians, but that each tribe had its own trails between the locations of the several 
bands of its own trilie. 

But whatever the story of the Indian trails may be. as they related to the earliest 
history (if Nebraska, we know that a number of notable routes sprang up across the 
state, which became the main arteries of commerce to the Northwest, preceding the 
arrival of the transcontinental railroad. 


Have you an eye, for the trails, the trails, 

The old mark and the new? 
What scurried here, what loitered there. 

In the dust and in the dew? 

Have you an eye for the beaten track, 

The old hoof and the young? 
Come name me the drivers of yesterday, 

Sing me the songs they sung. 

was it a schooner last went by, 

And where will it cross the stream? 
Where will it halt in the early dusk, 

And where will the eanip-tire gleam? 

They used to take the shortest out 

The cattle trails had made; 
Get down the hill by the easy slope 

To the water and the shade. 

But it's barbed wire fence, and section line, 

And kill-horse travel now; 
Seoot you down the canyon bank— 

The old road's under plough. 


Have you an eye for the laden wheel, 
The worn tire or the new? 

Or the sign of the prairie pony's hoof 
That was never trimmed for shoe? 

little by-path and big' highway. 

Alas, your lives are done. 
Tlic freighter's track, a weed-umwii d 

Points to the setting sun. 

The marks are faint and rain will 
The lore is hard to learn. 

hear, what ghosts would follow 
If the old vears might retura. 

A fairl 

y nccnira 

te itinei 

rary o 

f this tl 

be taken f 

rom th( 

■ notes 

of Fr, 

.■niont 1 

passed as i 

•ollows : 


the poi 

nt at T 



for a disi 

tance of 41 in 

iles. 1 

it is i( 

Kansas E 

iver, 8] 

miles : 

to th 

r P.ig 

296 miles; 

; Platte River, ; 

U6 ui 

iles; lo 

The most famous of these great transcontinental highways was known to the 
traders, ranchmen, and overland stage drivers, as the '"Military Eoad," hut more 
commonly and properly known as 


rail MS it traversed the State of Nebraska ran 
and travelers of his period, and indicate it 

, Missouri, where the trail starts northwest, 
ilentical with tiie Santa Fe Trail; to the 
Blue River, 242 miles; to the Little Blue, 
ower ford of South Platte River, 433 miles; 
upper ford of South Platte River, 493 miles; Chimney Eock, 571 miles; Scotts 
Bluff, 616 miles. Adding the distance from the northwest boundary of Nebraska to 
Fort Vancouver, the terminus, yields a total of 2,020 miles. The trail crossed 
the present Nebraska southern boundary line at or very near the point of the 
intersection of the 97th meridian, about four miles west of the southeast corner of 
Jefferson County. It left the Little Blue at a bend beyond this point, but reached 
it again just beyond Hebron. It left the stream finally at a point near Leroy, and 
reached the Platte Eiver about twenty miles below the western or upper end of 
(irand Island. Proceeding thence along the south bank of Platte Eiver, it crossed 
the south fork about sixty miles from the junction and touched the north fork at 
Ash Hallow, twenty miles beyond the south fork crossing. 

As it is the desire of the compiler of this historical review of Nebraska to 
preserve .somewhere within its pages something of the many contributions to 
Nebraska historical records and lore, prepared by Hon. A. E. Sheldon, who has 
devoted many years to the pr(^s( rvation of Nebraska historical facts, it is believed 
that his brief but comprehciiM\c rental of the "Overland Trails," in his "History 
and Stories of Nebraska," will ;i|i|)rnpi-iately serve this purpose. At the same time 
it is short enough to tit into mii- work here, yet cover the jiroportionate space we can 
devote to this partieiihir siii.jeet. 

Each of the old overland trails which crosses Nebraska from the Missouri 
Eiver to the mountains had a story. It is m story written deep in the lives of men 
and women, and in the westward march nf the .Vuumcan jn'ople. The story of these 
overland trails was also written in broad deep furrows across our prairies. Along 


these trails journoyed tliousaiids of iiu'ii, womoti and children with ox teams, carts, 
wheelbarrows, and on foot, to settle the great country beyond. Over them marched 
the soldiers who built forts to protect the settlers. Then the long freighting trains 
loaded with food, tools and clothing passed that way. So there came to be great 
beaten thoroughfares one or two hundred feet wide, deeply cut in the earth by the 
wheels of wagons and the feet of pilgrims. 

The Oregon Trail was the first and most famous of these in Nebraska. It 
started from the Missouri T?iver at Independence, Missouri, ran across the northeast 
corner of Kansas and cniiTi'il Xcliiask.i near the point where Gage and Jefferson 
counties meet on the Xiliinskn line. It followed the course of the Little 
Blue Eiver across Jefl'rrson, 'i'linycr, Nuckolls, Clay and Adams counties, then across 
the divide to the Platte, near the head of Grand Island in Hall County (missing Hall 
County by about two miles), then along the south side of the Platte through Kearney, 
Phelps, Gosper and Dawson to a point in Kieth County about seven miles east of 
Big Springs, where it crossed the South Platte and continued up the south side of 
the North Platte through Kieth, Garden, Morrill and Scotts Bluff counties, where 
it passed out of Nebraska into Wyoming. 

The beginnings of the Oregon Trail in Nebraska were made in 1813 by a 
little baud of returning Astorians as the.y, leading their one poor horse, tramped 
their weary way down the Platte Valley to the Otoe village, where they took canoes 
for their journey down the river. These first Oregon trailers left no track deep 
enough to be followed. They simply made known the way. After them fur traders 
on horseback and afoot followed nearly the same route. On April 10, 1830, Milton 
Sublette with ten wagons and one milch cow left St. Louis and arrived at the Wind 
Piiver Mountains on July 16th. They returned to St. Louis the same summer, 
bringing back ten wagons loaded with furs and the faithful cow which furnished 
milk all the way. Theirs were the first wagon wheels on the Oregon Trail across 
Nebraska. The track they made from the mouth of the Kansas River up the valley 
of the Little Blue and up the south side of the Platte and North Platte was followed 
by others, and thus became the historic trail. Their famous cow, and tlie old horse, 
which seventeen years before carried the burdens for the Astorians are entitled to a 
high place among the pioneers of the West. 

In 1832, Captain Bonneville, whose story is told by Washington Irving, followed 
over Sublette's trail from the Missouri Eiver to the mountains. In the same year 
Nathaniel J. Wyeth following the same trail, pushed through the South Pass in 
the mountains and on to Oregon, thus making an open road from the Missouri 
Eiver to the Pacific Ocean. With slight changes, this road remained the Oregon 
Trail through the years of overland travel. Every spring in May, the long emigrant 
wagon trains left the Missouri Eiver and arrived on the Pacific Coast in November. 
It was a wonderful trip. Every day the train moved fifteen or twenty miles. Every 
night it camped. Every day there were new travelers. Children were born on the 
way. There were weddings and funerals. It was a great traveling city, moving 
2,000 miles from the river to the ocean. 

There are five periods in the story of the Oregon Trail. The first was the 
period of finding the way and breaking the trail and extends from the return 
of the Astorians in 1813 to the Wyeth wagons in 1833. The second period was that 
of the early Oregon migration and extends from 1832 to the discovery of gold in 
California in 1849. The third period was that of the rush for gold and extends 

72 iii>;toi;y of Nebraska 

from 1849 to 1860. Duriiifr tliie^ period tlie Oregon Trail became the greatest traveled 
highway in the world, wider and more beaten than a city street and hundreds of 
thousands passed over it. The fourth period is that of the decline of the Oregon 
Trail and extends from 1860 to 1869. The fifth period, from 1869 to the present 
day, is witnessing its gradual effacement. 

The best brief description of the Oregon Trail is that of Father De Smet, who 
knew it well and tells of its appearance when first seen by him and his party of 
Indians from the Upper Missouri in 18.51 : 

"Our Indian companions, who had never seen but the narrow hunting paths by 
which they transport themselves and their lodges, were filled with admiration on 
seeing this noble highway, which is as smooth as a barn floor swept by the winds, 
and not a blade of grass can shoot up on it on account of the continual passing. 
They conceived a high idea of the countless white nations. They fancied that all 
had gone over that road and that an immense void must exist in the land of the 
rising sun. They styled the route the 'Great Medicine Eoad of the Whites.' " 

In another place Father De Smet tells of the Great Government wagon trains 
he met on the Oregon Trail in 1858 : 

"Each train consisted of twenty-six wagons, each wagon drawn by six yoke of 
oxen. The trains made a line fifty miles long. Each wagon is marked with a name as 
in the case of ships, and these names served to furnish amusement to the passers-by. 
Such names as The Constitution, The President, The Great Eepublic, The King 
of Bavaria, Louis Napoleon, Dan O'C'onnell, Old Kentuck, were daubed in great 
letters on each side of the carriage. On the plains the wagoner assumes the style 
of Captain, being placed in command of his wagon and twelve oxen. The master 
wagoner is admiral of this little fleet of 26 captains and 312 oxen. At a distance 
the white awnings of the wagons have the effect of a fleet of vessels with all canvas 


"The second important (rail across Nebraska is the one which started from 
the banks of the Missouri l\iver near Bellevue and Florence, followed up the Jiorth 
side of the Platte and Noi-th Platte to Fort Laramie, where it joined the older 
Oregon Trail. This was the route across Nebraska of the returning Astorians in 
1813 and some of the early fur traders. The Mormons made this a wagon road 
in 184T when tlieir great company which wintered at Florence and Bellevue took 
this way to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. It was often called the Mormon 
Trail. Some of the immigrants to Oregon and California went over this route and 
hence it is sometimes called the Oregon Trail or California Trail. There was less 
travel on this trail than on the one south of the Platte Eiver because there was 
more sand here. (This is in recent years more commonly called the 'Overland 
'iVail.') This north side trail ran through the counties of Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, 
Colfax, Platte, Merrick, flail, Buffalo, Dawson, Lincoln, Garden, Morrill and 
Scotts Bluff." (It will lie iidticed that this very closely parallels the route event- 
ually selected for tlic tiiin^continental. Union Pacific, or Overland, railway.) 

"The third celebratcil trail across Nebraska was from the Missouri River to 
Denver, and was called the Denver Trail. It had many branches between the 
Missouri River and Fort Kearney. Near this point they united and followed up 
the south bank of the Platte to Denver. The route from Omalia to Denver was 

HIST()1?Y OK \KR1^\SKA 73 

up the north bank of the I'latte to Shiuu"s Ferry iu Butler Couuty, wliere it 
crossed to the south side and continued up the river to Fort Kearney. 

"There was also a road from Nebraska City up the south bank of the Platte, 
which was joined by the Omaha road after it crossed the- river. It was called the 
Fort Kearney and Nebraska City road. A new and more direct road was laid out 
in 1860 from Nebraska City west through the counties of Otoe, Lancaster, Seward, 
York, Hall and Kearney. This was the best road to Denver. It was called the 
Nebraska City cut-off. It became very popular and during the years from 1868 to 
1869 was traveled by thousands of immigrants and freighters. Over the Denver 
Trail went the Pike's Peak immigrants and the supplies and machinery for opening 
the mines in Colorado." 


Upon the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1S69. the passage and 
decline of these trails started at a rapid rate. Short stretches from one town or 
settlement to another became regular roads, but remained no longer integral parts 
of a great through highway of travel. At many places through Nebraska, traces of 
the old wagon wheels or tracks remain visible. 

Before we pass entirely from this period, it would only be fitting to give short 
consideration to the conveyances and methods of travel used in the period we have 
just been discussing. Overland stages had been the main means of travel before 
the advent of the railroad coach. The great trails just recounted, across the State 
of Nebraska .served as highways for the Overland stage from the Missouri Eiver 
to the Pacific Ocean. The most commonly used vehicle for this work was the light 
Concord coach, so-called because they were first built at Concord, New Hampshire. 
They accommodated usually nine passengers inside and often one or two sat 
outside with the driver. 

With the Overland Stage developed the Overhiiul ^lail. The first contract 
for carrying this mail was let in 1850 to Sanuiol U. Wodilton. of Independence, 
Missouri. This was a monthly service on a route with terminals 1,200 
miles apart, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City, with the service later extended to 
Sacramento, California. Through Nebraska, this service substantially followed 
the Oregon Trail. The hard winter of 1856-7 blocked this route for several 
months. The California mail coach was then placed on a southern route through 
Arizona, but with the Civil war it was brought north again and in ISGl, the 
first daily overland mail began niiiiiing from the Missouri River to Calirornia. This 
mail at first started from St. Joseph. After a fr« iiKuitlis it ran from Atchison, 
joining the Oregon Trail a few miles south of the N( lii;i-k;i -tate line and following 
it as far as the crossing of the South Platte near .1 ulc-laiiu, \\ here it diverted making 
a new road, called the Central Route, through the uiouiitaiiis to Salt Ijake City. 
This was said to be the greatest stage line in the world, in IS.")',), the mad contract 
had been transferred to Russell, Majors & Waddell, who afterwarils became the 
most extensive freighters in Nebraska from the Missouri River. The stages 
taking the Overland route usually followed the south side of the Platte River, 


while the Union Pacific Railroad was later buiU on the north side of that river. 
These daily stage lines ran from 1861 to 1866 both ways, except for a short period 
during the Indian depredations of 1864. 


The pony express system liegan .Vpril 3, 1860, and continued for eighteen 
months until the completion of the telegraph line to San Francisco. This system 
was originated by William H. Russell, of Leavenworth, Kansas, and was the 
forerunner of the great fast mail (postal) system of the United States. The pony 
express was a num on horseback carrying a mail bag and riding as fast as the horse 
could run. As the horse and man, covered with dust and foam, dashed into a 
station another man on horseback snatched the bag and raced to the next station. 
So the bag of letters and dispatches rushed day and night across the plains and 
mountains between the Missouri River and the ocean. It is reputed that the quickest 
time ever made by the pony express was in March, 1861, w'hen President Lincoln's 
inaugural address was carried from St. Joseph to Sacramento, 1,980 miles, in seven 
days and seventeen hours. The charges were originally five dollars for each letter 
of one-half ounce or less; but afterwards this was reduced to two dollars and a half, 
this being in addition to the regular United States postage. 


But in 1920, we can hardly realize the full force of the importance of these old 
roads. We now see our succession of thriving cities, towns and villages of Nebraska, 
connected by rail, by telegraph, in some places by paved roads and dotted all over 
the state, with the new, leveled, graded, smooth state highway. - 

Theti the road led across the naked prairie from the Missouri River — wide, hard, 
and bare, except in real dry weather, with its terribly wTathy ruts. It followed no 
general course, unless in a general northwesterly direction. It crossed bridgeless 
streams, traversed through localities of great beauty, where the traveler might un- 
wittingly scare away great numbers of antelope, buffalo, elk or deer, and even the 
worse, coyotes, wolves and animals of prey. Such a thoroughfare was traveled by 
as heterogeneous a mass of people as could be found anywhere — merchants, capital- 
ists, freighters, prospectors, hunters, trappers, traders, soldiers, adventurers, 
pleasure seekers, home .seekers, emigrants, Indians, Mormons, gamblers, outlaws, 
tourists and even representatives of foreign nations. Here and there some enter- 
prising rancher supplied the freighters, soldiers, stage-drivers, emigrants and trav- 
elers with food and drink — especially drink. 

A^ow the roads lead along well defined courses, generally well graded, often 
marked from mile to mile with plain directions as to course and distance. Not 
only is the road definitely defined but along its side traverse the poles with wires for 
telegraph, telciilionc and electric pnurr i riinsinissinu. Streams are well bridged, 
though once in a while one still stundilc- upon the nld rickety wooden bridge, not yet 
replaced with steel or concrete bridge. Where there formerly was only endless 
prairie, now to the vista appears magnificent farm mansions, and wonderful barns, 
even splendid garages, and machinery and stock palaces, innumerable sheds and 
smaller buildings, and many a farm with an automobile or two, a tractor, a power 


plant, and much power driven machinery around. Instead of ti'avel by foot, by 
horseback and stage coach, the most usual vehicles to dodge now are fast automo- 
biles, chugging motorcycles, and occasionally a farm wagon or buggy of the type 
of a decade or two ago. 

Out of it all is coming the permanently constructed highway. What the old 
national highway was to the plains, what the welcome transcontinental Union 
Pacific became, even now the great granddaughter of the old trail, the permanently 
constructed highway, bids fair to become — and very soon at that — unless the 
aerial highway for high-powered aeroplanes, and passenger balloons, overpowers it. 

"There are highways born, the old roads die — 
Can you read what once they said. 
From the way worn ditch and the sunflower clump. 
And the needs of folk long dead."" 



—1810— 1819— 1826— 1844— 1846— 1853— OMAHA — brownville — nemaha 

MONT—BEATRICE—GRAND ISLAND — 1858 — 1860 — 1863 — 1866— north platte— 
1867 — 1868 — 1869 — schuyler — wahoo — blair — fairbury — Norfolk — 1870 
—1871-2— KEARNEY— 1873— 1877-1880— 1881-3-1883. 

"Hear the tread of pioneers 
Of nations yet to be, 
The first low wash of waves where soon 
Sliall i-oU a hnniau sea." 

We have ]>Mi(l livief trilmtc in |ii-cc(m1ui^- rhaptcrs tn the original inhaljitants <it' 
Nebraska, the Indians, ami tn the intr('|)i(l. au,urcssi\e ami lU'tci-niined explorers who 

found this fair state ami upc I it to the vista uf the white settlers. We expect 

yet, in a chapter tn tolhiw. to pay liiicf triluitr to the valiant pioneers who opened 
up the settlement of I'ach cnunty in the stale. Hut to gain a eonnected and com- 
prehensive concepliiiii (if the i;railual progression of the settlement of our state 
both in time and i;eogra])hieal scope, we may well pause and record a roster of 
the counties and communities in the onliM- in whirh their settlement was perfected, 
before we attempt a separate consideiatiun ol' rarh, in the usual course of alphabetical 

(No attemjit has been made where settlements are attrilnited to several 
counties in the same year, to carry the event to mouths or days — but they are 
listed perhaps somewhat indiscriminately in that year. In most cases, a more 
definite date than merely giving the year is given in the separate consideration of 
the county, to follow in another chaiiter.) 

Tciiiporari/ iScttle merits 

1810 and 1823. Present Sar|)y County. (Post at Bellevue.) 
1819 to 1827. Present Washington Countv. (Fort Atkinson.) 

Permannit S,'HIn„nit.< 

Prior to 1844. Sarpy. 1818. Kearney County, at new Fort 
1844. Otoe, at Fort Kearney, later Kearney. 

Nebraska City, and T)ougla.s, 

at Florence. " 1853. Cass Countv. Plattsmouth. 


1854. Xemalia County. Browiiville 

and Xenialia City. 
Dakota County. 
Richardson County. 
Pawnee County. 
Jefferson County. 

1855. Washington County, permanent 

Burt County. 

1856. Dodge County. 
Colfax County. 
Platte County. 
Cuming County. 
Knox County. 
Johnson County. 

1857. Gage County, permanent settle- 

Laneaster ('<iuutv. 

Saunders County. 

Butler County. 

Xanc-e County. 

Hall C!ounty. 

Clay County. 

Cedar County. 
18.58. Buffalo County. 

Saline County. 

Xuckolls County. 
1859. Dixon County. 

Kearney County, for permanent 
settlement, outside of old Fort 

Merrick County. 

Seward County. 

Lineoln County. 
lS(;i. Dawson County. 

It will be noted at this point that settlement of new territory was virtually 
halted during the Civil war period and the period of worst Indian depredations, 
centering from 1862-1864. It will also be noted that the names of counties used 
in tins list are the present names of the respective counties. Those w^hich were 
formed with other names will be so differentiated when the order of organization 
of counties is discussed. 

1865. Stanton County. 
Madison County. 
York County. 

1866. Fillmore County. 
Pierce County. 

1867. Hamilton County. 
Polk County. 

Keith Count}', embracing later 
Perkins County. 

Cheyenne County, along the 
line of the new Union Pacific, 
so embracing later Kimball 

Deuel County. 
And in a way. Banner County 
and Garden County which set- 
tled soon after that time, for 
cattle ranch purposes. 

1868. Antelope County. 

1869. Thayer County. 
Wayne County. 

Hitchcock Cminty, this proving 
somewhat tcmnorarv. 


Adams County. 

Webster County. 

Franklin County. 

Harlan County. 

Furnas County. 

Boone County. 

Greeley County. 

Howard County. 

Red Willow County. 

Siierman County. 

Valley County. 

Holt C.iunty. and from it 

I'iielps County. 

Gosper County. 

Frontier County. 

Hitchcock County, peiinai 

Garfield County, and a 

later into Wheeler County. 

Chase County and pi 
into Dundy County, and 
I SSI) into Hayes County 

1. Custer Countv. 





187T. Sioux County. 

In 1882, Cheyenne County included 
the present counties of Iviniltall, Deuel 
and Banner, which were partially set- 
tled ; and the following counties, which 
received their permanent settlements 
at or shortly after that time. 
Scotts Bluff County, 
llorrill County. 
Garden County. 

In 1882, Sioux County covered an 
area now covered hy sixteen counties. Of 
these. Holt and Sioux alone have been 
recorded. Between 1882 and 1886, 
settlements crept into territory now, 
Cherrv Countv. 

Brown County. 
Tiock County. 
Tveya Paha County. 

Between 1886 and 1890, settlements 
crept into territory since formed into, 
Blaine County. 
Thomas County. 
Grant County. 
Hooker County. 
Dawes County. 
Sheridan County. 
Logan County. 
MePherson County and 
Arthur County. 

(Tluirston County formed from 
Omaha Indian reservation territory.) 


The foregoing roster uf iMinntics in ilic order nl' their >ettlenient is mainly of 
statistical value. The real rriferion cif the time and mtatiun of settlement through 
the various parts of the state is best measured liy a survey of the rotation in which 
the different towns, cities ami small eommunities were projected, platted and 
incorporated . 

On the :)oth of May. 18.">4. when President Pierce atti.xed his signature to the 
Kansas-Nebraska Bill, the 'I'erritory of Nebraska was veiT sparsely settled. The 
white population of the territory at that time was a little less than 3.000 souls, 
scattered among the little settlements at Bellevue. Omaha. Brownville and other 
places along the Missouri River bottoms. 

While Lewis and Clark in 1804 and Manuel Lisa in 1805 had made their ex- 
plorations along the east edge of the state it was not until 1810, that a permanent 
settlement was attempted in Nebraska. 

1810. In that year, the American Fur Company, organized and controlled 
by the genius of John Jacob Astor, established a trading post at Bellevue. A 
French-Canadian by name of Francis Deroin was placed in charge. Deroin was 
succeeded by a fellow countryman, Joseph Eobidoux, familiarly known as "Old 
Joe"' and who was later the of St. Joseph, Missouri. In 1816, his successor, 
John Carbanne came and stayed until 1824, when Col. Peter A. Sarpy took charge. 
Colonel Sarpy, for whom the county in which this post was situated was eventually 
named, was a splendid .speciman of the hardy race of pioneers who laid the founda- 
tion stones of the wonderful structure of Nebraska. At the time of the fornuilion 
of the ten-it(iry. Sarpy was ileserilied as being fifty-lixi' years of age, ratlier l)elow me- 
dium ill height. \\ ith Mark hair, dark eoiiijilexidn. well-knit and compact feature and a 
heavy hear<l that seoriied the razor's vilisv for many yi'ars. His manner was com- 
manding, his iiildi-css fluent, and in the presence of the opposite sex. be was pol- 
ished and fluent. 

ISlil. 'I'he (iovernment located a military |«.M within the iiresent limits of 

iiiit ill isk; 

lie cstalilished, or 

F(.d Kcnrn 

cy. at the present 

ettleinoiit is 

attriliutcil t(i the 

if wliat is 

now the town of 

f Illinois. 1, 

ullVtctl across the 

in iH'a.r on 

. the banks of tlie 


Wasliington County. The post was then called Fort Atkinson, but afterwards the 
name was changed to Fort Calhoun. It stood on the spot where Lewis and Clark 
held their famous council with the chiefs of the Otoe and Missouri Indians. The 
fort was abandoned as a military ])0st in 1827. 

1826. Next to Peter Sarpy, John Boulwarc is believed to be the first white 
man to attempt a settlement in the yet unorganized Territory of Nebraska. He 
estalilislied liiiiiselt at l-'ort Calhoun, in 1826, the year before the fort there was 
al.aniloiie.l. A tia.liii,u- post near there had been moved to Bellevue in 1823. 
Boulware ivinained at Fort Calhoun for many ye; 
rathei' was placed in cliar-e of a ( n.venniK'iit feii 
site of Nebraska City. 

1S44. Xext to Bellevue. the atteinptiiig of a 
soj<nirii of the Monnoirs in lSt4. at the locati 
Florence, recently annexed to Omaha. Driven o 
jilains of Towa. the Mormons believed they coulil 

^lissouii and established their colony about six miles north of Omaha, at Florence. 
The land within and surrounding their settlement was cultivated and soon fully 
lii.oiKi (lisci]>les of Joseph Smith were gathered near here. But they were not 
destined to lemain aiiy ureat facloi- in Nebraska's development, for as soon as it was 
determined that Salt Lake City was to become the permanent cajjital of tlieir 
empire, within which their teachings and practices would not be interrupted, they 
migrated to their modern Zion. So in 18.">1 the ^Mormons at Morence abandoned 
their ])rairie homes and journeyed westward. 

1846. 'I'he next move in the unoiganized territory was probably the estab- 
lisliment in 1846 of a small post called Fort Kearney, on the site of the present Ne- 
braska City, and a ferry across the river at that point. The American Fur Com- 
pany also in this year or perhaps in 1847, established a trading ix>st at this 
point. This continued until 1854. The fort was used as a military post by the 
Government until 1848, when it was abandoned and the garrison moved to new 
Fort Kearney, in the present Kearney County, and below the present city of Kearney 
on the Platte River. It might be remarked that the original spelling of the valiant 
soldier for whom these various places were named was "Kearny," but it has grad- 
ually ijy usage been changed to this word with the "e" in the last syllable. 

18.");i. This brings us to the year before the organization of the territory, 
with only Bellevue and perhaps Fort Calhoun and Nebraska City, then F(jrt Kear- 
ney, as what might be called permanent settlements. In the year 1853 several 
events took place forerunning the wave of settlement that began in 1854. A trading 
post was established in the southern ]>art of Nemaha County, and the tow-n of St. 
l>eroiii laid <iiit. Robert llawk'e. a merchant from the Nebraska City or Fort 
Kearney settlement, built a house and opened a store there. This was before the 
extinguishment of the Indian title and can hardly be regarded as more than an 
Indian post, rather than a new town. Council Bluffs had become a city of some 
two thousand by this time, and in June. 1853, a ferry was established by 
William D. Brown between Council Ululfs and the Nebraska side. The company 
was composed of William D. Brown. Joseph Street, Jesse Williams and Enos Lowe. 
Though these gentlemen frequently visited the Nebraska side, and attempted to 
"s(|uat"" claims, as the Indian title was not extinguished until the next year, 
permanent settlements on site of Omaha cannot be said to have commenced until 

80 niSl'01!Y OF ^■KHRASKA 

IS.M. AlfriMl D. Jones, a survovor. whd had sliurtly therftufore locateil tlu' town 
of \\'int(_Tsct, Iowa, came over alioiit this time ami spotted the claim which he 
intended to and did file upon as soon as the opportunity offered. In the spring of 
1853, Samuel Martin, having first obtained the necessary permission from the 
Government to establish a trading post in the Platte Country, crossed the river 
and erected a two-story building at the point on the -oiitli branch of the Platte 
Kiver, near its mouth, where city of Plattsmouth was later located. Except for 
the temporary settlement of Stephen Story in 1844, in what is now Richardson 
County, where he stayed until 1850, this practically completes the roster of pre- 
territorial settlements in Nebraska. Two other trappers and hunters, Charles 
Martin and F. X. Dupuis, had also made temporary settlements in Kichardsoii 
County in that period. 

1854. This year not only nuirks the arrival of (iovernor Burt and the beginning of 
fi.xed territorial government, but the influ.x of settlers who established on a perma- 
nent basis of the early communities. 

Omaha. Early in the spring when it became a certainty that the territory 
would be organized and thrown open to settlement a number of men crossed from 
Council Blutfs and took up claims in and around the present OnuUia. Among 
those whose names have been preserved are : — A. D. Jones, J. E. Johnson, Robert 
B. Whitted, William Clancy, Jeffry Brothers, J. C. Reeves, James Hickey, Benja- 
min Leonard, A. R. Gilmore, C. H. Downs, W. P. Snowden, 0. B. Seldon, J. W. 
Paddock. William Gray, John Withnell, George L. Miller, A. J. Poppleton, Loran 
Miller. J. (i. Mageath." A. P.. :\I..on. and O. \\ Richardson. The first building was 
completed by A. I). Jones, on May v'.S, IS.Vi, just two days before President 
Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. A townsite was selected, surveyed and 
platted, and named "Omaha." The history of Omaha alone would fill more than 
a volume, so space in this w'ork will not permit of going very much into detail in 
the development of this, or any otlui- community in this .state, except the par- 
ticular communities selected to be treated completely in the latter part hereof. 

BroivivvUle. In this year, Richard Brown came to Nemaha County, and located 
the spot where Brownville was developed. This town not only served for a time 
as county seat of Nemaha County but became in its halcyon days of the steamboat 
traffic, a really important town in early Nebraska. But with the arrival of railroads 
and decline of steamboat traffic, it deteriorated until it is now but a village of some 
five hundred inhabitants, after sixty-six years of existence. Hx-Governor Furnas 
was an early resident of this community. A great deal of interesting early histoiy 
of this community could be given here if space permitted. 

Nemaha City. Another community was established in Nemaha County this 
same year, at Nemaha City, four and a half miles below Brownville. Albert L. 
Coiitt and Doctor Wyatt arc believed to have been the first settlers. A ferry was 
chartered the next year, and h.icr. in 1863, a toll bridge built, which was later 
sui)erseded by a permanent county briilge. After some sixty-five years of existence, 
this community remains as a village of about four hundred inhabitants, with 
memories of an important part played in the early development of the state. 

I'hitlsiiioiith and Nebraska Citij were formally platted, surveyed and laid out 
in this year, and look their place among the permanently established communities of 
the state. .\ few years later, both bitter, cariu'st conten.lers for the state 
capital, but ni'itber won that prize I'.oth developed int.. important railroad rvw- 


ters, and Xebraska City into an industrial center of some repute. In 1!>20, both 
rank as important cities in the second group in population. 

Cinciimati was a village laid out in Pawnee County thi.s year, tiie thst real 
manifestation of permanent settlement in that county. 

Archer and Salem were laid out in Richardson County this year; the former, 
incorporated the next year was designated as the first county seat of that county, and 
some years later, Salem won that prize for a few years' possession, until it lost it to 
Falls City, a town three years its junior. 

Going north of Omaha, numerous settlements were projected and laid out 
in 1854. Among these were Fort Calhoun, on a permanent basis; Fniitunrlli; 
Dp Soto and Cuming City, all in Washington County. 

IS.'i.'i. Though a claim had been staked the previous year, this year saw 
Tcl'amnh in Burt County laid out. 

From this point on, this survey <lors nut. by any means, purport to record the 
settlement of every town and community in the state, but only selects the more 
prominent towns, for the purpose of showing how much farther and in wiiat 
directions the new settlements have progressed each year. 

1856. This year found Decatur in Burt County established. To the north, 
appear Dakota City and Xiobrara (Knox County) and Ponca, the latter established 
by Doctor Stough in 1856. Spreading to the west, appear two towns destined to 
become important cities of the state, Cnliniifiu.^ and Frrinont. Dodge County also 
produced X^orth Bend in this year. 

Columbus. This town was founded by the Columbus Town Company, which 
had sent Fred Gottschalk, Jacob Lewis and George Rausch out from Omaha as 
advance agents in April to locate a site. On April 27, 1856, Isaac Albertson and 
E. W. Toncray located on Shell Creek, and attempted to found a town named 
"Buchanan" in the part of Platte County that became Colfax County later. 
Columbus was outlined and started on May ^9, 1856. As remarked before, Albert- 
son and Toncray, with General Estabrook and Col. Loran Miller attempted this year 
to start Buchanan, some four miles east of present Schuyler. As has been re- 
marked, though in the realm of national politics Buchanan, as a presidential candi- 
date, defeated Fremont in 1856, as a town, Fremont most certainly pennanently 
eclipsed Buchanan, for today, the Fremont established in 1856 by contract with 
Pinney, Barnard & Co., is one of the imjjortant cities of Xebraska and Buchanan 
is as forgotten as the President for whom it was named. 

Columbus was carried on in its upbuilding by a consolidation of the Pawnee 
City Company, the Columbus Town Company and a bridge company. It was in- 
corporated as a town in 1865, and became a city of the first class in 1873, and in 
1920 has reached a population of approximately six thousand. 

Fremont is an important railroad and industrial center. In 1860 it became 
the seat of justice for Dodge County, and was incorporated as a city of second class 
in 1871. It is the outlet or market place for products of the rich valleys of the 
Platte for a long stretch and of the Elkhorn. Its first church, the Congregational, 
was organized in 1857, and it had a school in 1S.")S. The l!i-^(i census shows it to be 
a city of almo,st ten thousand population. 

1857. This year saw Tecumseh. located iu Johnson County, aiiotlirr ino\c in 
the trend of settlement away from tbr iimt counties. Falls City and I'nlo were 
laid out in Richanlson Countv. Two more communities were otablished in this 

82 uis'ioiiY (IF m:i;i;aska 

year tliat were dcstiiieil to takr I'miir rank aiiumg tlie cities of Nebraska. Beatrice 
and (iraiul Jslaiul. 

Beatrice, the county seat of (iage County, is pleasantly situated on the Blue 
Kirer, about fifty miles south of Lincoln, it was founded by a colony of emigrants 
in 1857 and named in honor of the daughter of Judge Kinney, a member. It was 
made the county seat upon tlie organization of the county and still holds that 
honor. Since the arrival of the first railroad, the Omaha & Soiithwestern, in 
1871, numerous other lines have built in and it has become an important railroad 
center as well as industrial city, made especially famous by the Dempster Mills. 
The first church organized was the Methodist in 18.j7 or 1858, and a school was 
built by ISlJ-i. Blue Springs was another town started in fiage County this same 

Grand Island. On July 4, 1857, a colony of thirty-five hardy pioneers arrived 
in what is now Hall County. Sent out by A. H. Barrows of a Davenport, Iowa. 
banking firm, upon well defined terms of financing and duties of cultivation and 
production, this courageous band passed by the infant settlements at Omaha, 
Fremont and Columbus and ventured out into the fathomless prairies of Central 
Nebraska, where there were then no settlements of white men, except clustered 
at Fort Kearney, to the southwest of where they stopped. They came to the 
''Great Island" referred to by Fremont, in the Platte River, and some two miles 
and a half hcldw the jin-sent city of Grand Island, located a settlement. They 
Ijuilt tiie (). K. Store and a lew other establishments, but little in the way of a 
town was accomplished until the arrival of the Union Pacific Eailroad in 1866 and 
establishment of a division )i(iiiit ujiou the site of the present Grand Island, when 
the name was transferred to the new site, the community mainly moved over and 
the present city began. It has grown until it has reached a safe place in the 1920 
cen.sus as Third City of Nebraska, showing a population of around fourteen thousand. 
Not only possessing the largest shops of the Union Pacific in Nebraska, outside of 
Omaha, this community has achieved a considerable indu.strial reputation as being 
the site of the first beet sugar factory in America; the second largest horse and 
mule market in the United States and a recent local survey showed some three 
hundred articles manufactured in this city. A land office was located here in 1869. 
the town incorporated in 1873, and schools and c-hurehes were started right after 
the establishment in 1866. 

1858. In \\\r smirheastciii part «( ihr statr. St. Deroin was resurveyed, this being the }r:w in \>lii(li ilir liMinilcr. Heidin. was killed by a man named 
Bedlow in a (|uarrrl. fledhiw \\;i,< ar(|uitlcd upon trial. Falls City was incor- 
iMirated. Table Kiick. wliiili liiid been sni-veyed in IS.".."), was incorporated and its rival 
in Pawnee Ciiunty. Pawnee City, was )M-(ijccied. but the latter was not really 
organized until 1871. 'i'o the northeast. St. Helena s|irani: up in Cedar County 
and Oakland to the south of there, in Buit C(.nnty. 

But the main marks of ])rogress in thi> year was the exteusiuu of settlement to 
the ue>t ■,\\ui\'s the I'latie. .\ statinn was oiablished at Lone Tree station in Merrick 
<'(>unt\ liy the Western Staii'e Cc Tins was the beginning of the present town of 
Central Cily. iIkiuuIi that luwii bc-an it.- real existence about IsT.'i. In Hall 
Cduiity. Miirnidn siltliTs li.caled in the west end of the county, at a jMiint that 
Marled til.' >ettlcuient of W.»id iv'iNei- .-eine ten years later. In ea-^tern liulfalo 
Couniv. the .-.unmunitv of Wood K'ixer Center was settled bv the Mormons, and a 


town started that later dt^veloiuMl into the present Shelton. a elian^'e of nanie 
being necessary after the town o£ Wood River started a few miles to the east in 
Hall County. 

1860. A settlement was made at Genoa, which later became the location of an 
Indian school and a town of some repute. The location of a ferry across the 
Loup at this point hastened the location of a community in this vicinity. Franklin, 
which later became Jackson, was located near Dakota City. 

In the next few years but little was accomplished in the direction of new settle- 

1863 saw the establishment of Fort .Md'herson m Lincoln County, and Elder 
J. M. Young settled at Lancaster, which sprang up and retained that name until 
the establishment of Lincoln, the new state capital, some four years later. In 1864, 
a postofifice was established at Milford, in Seward County, and in 1866 a mill was 
started there, on the Blue River. After the Civil war was over and the Indian scares 
of 1862 to 1865 had subsided, new settlements began to appear. 

1866. The extension of the Union Pacific built up the Lone Tree station in 
Merrick County ; moved the settlement of Grand Island over to the present site ; and 
brought about the establishment of Kearney Station, which later became Buda, it 
being some five years later before Kearney Junction, the present city of Kearney 
reached the postofiSce stage. The most important step forward of this year was probably 
the location and establishment of Nortli Platte. This place is located approximately 
three hundred miles west of Omaha. Upon its establishment in 1866, a post- 
office was located, and a newspaper. The Pioneer on Wheels, started. In 1867 it be- 
came the county seat of Lincoln County, and the same year the Union Pacific began 
the erection of machine shops there. For some thirty years it enjoyed a steady 
growth and in 1910 showed a population of 4,792. But in the past decade, with the 
rapid and wonderful development of the North Platte Valley in the western end of 
the state, it has become the industrial center of that vast new empire of irrigation, 
sugar beets and general production and forged ahead to a population of past ten 
thousand, and is now the fifth city in the state. 

1867. As this year saw the completion of the Union Pacific railroad to prac- 
tically the western border of the state, another division point west of North Platte, 
and still in Nebraska, became necessary, so the town of Sidney was started, at the 
location of a military garrison of that vicinity. This town became the point where 
travelers left the Overland highways to go north to the Black Hills, and when 
gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1876, became a very important, as well as 
notorious, place. It was here that the wild life of the frontier probably appeared 
more markedly and more true to "dime novel" and "western film" portrayals than 
any other place in Nebraska. 

In this same year, 1867, the location was selected for the new state capitol, 
and the City of Lincoln given birth. By coincidence, in the same year, a small 
town was laid out in Washington County, named Kennard, in honor of one of the 
three commissioners who chose the site of Lincoln, Thomas P. Kennard. By fur- 
ther coincidence, in the recent weeks of the summer of 1920, occurred the deaths 
of Mr. Kennard, one of the founders of Lincoln, and Dr. George L. Miller, one 
of the original builders of Omaha, both hovering around the ripe age of ninety 

186S marked no organized advance of settlement. In this year, Ulysses in 

84 inS'l'OIJY OF \KBT{A8KA 

Butler County, AA'ood EiviT in Hall ('(uinty and \(irtli Auburn in XemaKa County, 
received a start. 

1869. This year saw some advance in addition of permanent communities to 
the state's roster. Hebron, county seat of Thayer County, was platted. Weeping 
Water, Cass County, which had been settled since 1855 took form, Arlington was 
laid out in Washington County, Papillion, county seat of Sarpy County, had its 
first house built, and five other towns, four of which were destined to become 
county seats and two of which are among the dozen most important towns of the 
state, were started in this year. 

Schuyler, in Colfax County. The railroad station and section house had been 
built shortly before, but in 1869 L. C. Smith and brother opened the first store, 
and the town was platted on April 6, 1869, by H. M. Hoxie and Webster Snyder, 
officials of the Union Pacific Railroad. It has grown to be a good town of popula- 
tion in the neighborhood of two thousand five hundred, and especially noted for 
having one of the largest flour mills in the West, the Wells-Abbott-Xieman mills, 
manufacturers of Puritan and other lirands of flijur. sold all over the United States. 

Wahoo grew from settlements made in this year by J. il. and J. R. Lee, and 
in the following year a company composed of these two men and Wm. B. Lee, 
H. Dorsey, E. H. Barnard, J. J. Hawthorn and Mr. Miner surveyed the town and 
subsequently became proprietors of the village. This town was destined later to 
capture the county seat honors of Saunders County from Ashland, and also to 
become an important trading center of the territory between Lincoln and Fremont. 

Blair, the permanent seat of justice of Washington County, was located in this 
year. It is situated twenty-five miles north of Omaha, on a beautiful plateau about 
two and a half miles west of the Missouri River, and became the crossing of the 
C, St. P., M. & 0. lines to Sioux City, and the main lines of the Xorthwestern 
system from Iowa to Fremont and on to the Black Hills. This plateau had been 
settled in 1855 by three brothers, Jacob, Alexander and T. M. Carter. The 
town was founded in 1869 and became a city of second class in 1872. It has 
developed into an important industrial center, with a canning factory, horse collar 
factory, Danish Publishing House, seat of Dana College, Danish Educational 
Institution for the nation, and an important trading center despite its close 
proximity to Omalia and Fremont. 

Fairhury, the permanent county seat of Jefferson County, was laid out in 1869 
by Messrs. McDow-ell and Mattingly, though its real period of growth commenced 
in 1873 with the arrival of the St. Joe & Denver, now the St. Joseph and Grand 
Island Railroad. Its name, Fairbury, Mr. McDowell chose from that of his former 
residence, Fairbury, 111. Close to the Otoe reservation and in a commanding 
position as the junction of the St. Joe and Grand Island and Rock Island lines 
over an extensive, fertile territory, it has built u]) to a status as one of the best 
smaller cities in the state. 

Norfolk, in Madison County, was laid out in this year, by Colonel Matthewson, 
who completed the Norfolk mills in 1870. He also built the first store in this town 
in 1869, and the first frame house, which stood at present corner of Main and 
First streets. This pioneer founder died in 1880. But the town he started kept 
on growing until it has reached a place among the ten largest towns in the state, 
and from its strategic location is destined to make very rapid growth in the future. 
An important railroad division point on the Xorthwestern system and junction. 


point of different lines, it is also becoming one of the very important industrial 
and wholesale centers of the state. 

1870. This year saw a rapid development in the territory between Lincoln and 
Grand Island. Setimrd, developing from a settlement made two years before, was 
incorporated. York gi-ew out of the development from a pre-emption claim taken 
in 1869 for the South Platte Land Co., and was surveyed and platted in October, 
1869, with the first store built in the following year. Crete was projected in this 
year by J. C. Bickle, and a rival town. Blue River City, started, but vanquished 
later by Crete. Orville, which became the first county seat of Hamilton County, 
started in this year. Dorchester also sprang up in Saline County; Sterling, down 
in Thayer County, and Inland, to the southwest, in the west edge of Clay County, 
was projected. A town was started three miles from the present site of Osceola, 
which became Osceola in 1871. Further west, the settlements in the Republican 
Valley opened in this year, with Red Cloud and Guide Rock projected in this year. 
In the older territory, town of Pierce started. 

1871-1872. These two years witnessed a startling array of new settlements in 
the state, and a survey of the geographical trend is almost as enlightening as the 
roster of the new towns. In the well established eastern and northeastern part of 
the state, towns added to the list in these two years were: Madison, which became 
the county seat of Madison County ; Syracuse and TJnadilla in Otoe County ; Wisner 
was platted, in Cuming County, and Lyons started ; Scribner and Hooper in Dodge 
County appeared ; Homer in Dakota County and Creighton in Knox County started 
in 1872; as did Oakdale in Antelope County. 

Moving westward, in these years numerous settlements were projected in 
Lancaster County, at Bennett and Waverly ; in its neighboring counties to the west. 
Saline produced Wilber, its eventual county seat; DeWitt and Friend in 1872. 
The latter started when the railroad came through in 1871, but got its real impetus 
in 1873, and Thayer County bristled out with Alexandria in 1871, and Davenport, 
Carleton and Belvidere in 1872. Clay County began its town growth in earnest, 
with Harvard and Sutton in 1871 and Fairfield in 1872, and Edgar was surveyed 
in 1872. Fillmore produced Geneva, Fairmont and Exeter in 1871 as well as 
Grafton, which indulged in a most picturesque railroad and trade war with Sutton, 
when the railroad attempted to pass up Sutton and locate the depot and shijiping 
facilities at Grafton. Unlike many of these scraps, in this instance both towns 
survived and became good trading centers. 

Adams County showed unusual ilrxfldinnrnt. A small settlement in vicinity of 
IJa-sliiigs. headed by the filing of \\';ilt(r Muklen upon the future townsite started 
the venture. Tlie Hastings Towiisitr ('miipany organized by Walter Micklen. 
W. L. Smith, T. E. Farrell, W. B. Slosson, Samuel Slosson and J. D. Carl, laid 
Micklen's land out into town lots and projected the future city. Samuel Alexander 
came from Lincoln in 1872 and erected the first store, before the arrival of the 
railroad, and when the goods had to be hauled from Inland, a town then the 
terminus of the Burlington, six miles east of Hastings. The postoffice was estab- 
lished that fall, with Alexander as postmaster. The new town had a rapid growth, 
in 1877 became the county seat. In April, 1874, it was incorporated. It has 
grown and developed, as a wonderful railroad center, with seven railroad lines 
radiating in every direction, and such commercial, industrial and manufacturing 
attainments that it holds a place as the fourth largest city in the state according to 

86 I1IS'I(»1;V (»F XKl'.KASKA 

the 1920 census. In 18? 1-2, Adams County also produced Juniata and Kenesaw. 
Continuing west to Kearney County, Lowell was started in 1872. To the northwest, 
along the Union Pacific line and Platte Eiver territory, Kearney Junction now 
city of Kearney and Plum Creek, which was later changed to name of Lexington, 
were started in 1871. 

Kearney was started from Kearney Junction postoffice in 1871; the town 
surveyed in 1872, and both the Union Pacific and Burlington railroads were then 
completed to this new town. By the spring of 1873 it had some twenty buildings 
and was incorporated as a town in April, 1874. Its first church was the Methodist 
Episcopal, organized as early as 1871 by Presiding Elder A. G. White and Eev. 
A. Collins, at the residence of the latter. Its first school was taught in 1872 by 
Miss Fanny Nevins. This city has grown in commercial and industrial importance 
until it has approximately seven thousand residents, and is one of the most beautiful 
cities in the state. It is a great center of schools and public institutions. 

Plum Creek, or Lexington, the county seat of Dawson County, has developed 
into a very important town of its cla^s. Lowrll. mentioned a short space back, 
played a very important part in early days of central Nebraska, but has fallen 
back to about one hundred inhabitants. Gibbon in Buffalo county started in 1872, 
and has become a very enterprising small town, with very nearly a thousand popula- 
tion. The settlements in Franklin, Harlan and Furnas counties, first made here 
and there in 1870, were also concentrating into the development of towns in this 
period of 1871-2. Blooniington, in Franklin County; Alma, in Harlan County, 
and Beaver City, in Furnas County, all destined to win the county seatship in 
their respective counties blossomed forth in 1872. In Franklin County, Blooming- 
ton was not alone, but had as early rivals, started at the same time. Franklin City, 
which became Waterloo, and eventually Franklin disphucd it; Itiverton and 
Naponee. Arapahoe was started, and well rivaled Beaver City, in Fui-nas County. 
Orleans, Melrose and Keimblican City started to contest with Alma, m Harlan 

In the central part of the state and looking farther north, in 1872, Aurora 
was laid out in Hamilton County, destined to take the county seat away from 
Orville, and become the metropolis of its vicinity, and a town of some three thousand 
inhabitants. At this time, the great, fertile -Loup Valley, north of Aurora and 
Grand Island began to open up. Following the first settlements in 1871, the town 
of St. Paul was founded by the Paul brothers in 1872, and another town, Dannebrog 
also started in Howard County that year, and to the north, North Loup, in Valley 
Countj', was projected. This growth carried the settlements well into the center of 
the state, along the l{c|nililican, Platte and Loup valleys. 

Also in this iicnnil. III the older parts of the state, among other towns started 
in 1871-2 were Si rnin.^ljiirg, m Polk County; Plainview, in Pierce County; Albion, 
the ))crma]ient louiiiy scat of Boone County, and St. Edward, in the same county; 
Stanton, in llie ceimiy that bears the same name; and Palmyra in Otoe County. 

I.sT;? saw a \'v\\ towns here and there started, in localities which gradually 
exteiiiled the settled area. Xeligh, in Antelope County started at this time. Ord 
was located in this year and laid out in 1874 by Haskell Brothers and Babcock. 
This town, the metropolis of Valley County and the junction of the Union Pacific 
and Burlington branches into the Lotip Valley has become an important trading 
center. Ord and Xorth J-oiiji liear t-lio reputation of being the shipping ]ioints for 

HISTORY OF xi-:bt!aska sr 

the secunil greatest popcorn shipping community in the United States, and an 
annual popcorn festival is held in recent years at Xorth Loup. Xelson, eventually 
the county seat of Nuckolls County, was laid out in 1873, some two years 
before its rival Superior, wliic-h iiccaiiit' the larger town in tlie couiitv and an 
important railroad center. David City, the county seat of Butler, was laid out 
then, and incorporated in 1874; Loup City, the metropolis and county seat of 
Sherman County, began building up in 1873. Li Dawson County, two more towns 
started, Cozad, which was at one time called "Hundredth Meridian" due to its 
location near that line, and Overton, which is in the eastern part of the county. 

1874-77. Scotia, in Greeley County, and located between St. Paul and North 
Loup, but only four miles south of the latter, si.ntcd in 1874. It was the tirst town 
and first county seat of Greeley County. O'Neill >t:iiteil in 1875, and Atkinson, in 
187G and another little town in Holt County, I'addock, later Troy, started about 
this time. Keya Paha was settled in 1877, thus indicating that before 1880 the 
settlements were reaching up the Northwestern Railroad Elkhorn \'alley line pretty 

In Kearney County, ^Mindcn started in 187G ami Newark in 1877. In Greeley, 
a .settlement was made at O'Connor in 1877. Utica, in Seward County started 
about this time. 

1877-1880. In 1878, Blue Hill and Cowles started in Webster County; 1870 
saw the foundation of Cedar Rapids, in Boone County; Clay Center, in Clay 
County ; O.xford, in Furnas County ; and Bradshaw in York County. 

1881-3. Bancroft started in Burt County; Fullerton, in Nance County; Pilger, 
in Stanton County; Chester and Hubbell in Thayer County, and out at the very 
southwest corner of the state, Collinsville, later called Benkleman began. 

The more important towns projected in 1882, were Wakefield, in Di.xou County; 
Wayne, county seat of that county; Wymore, in Gage County, and Spalding, in 
eastern Greeley County, and McCook, future county seat of Red Willow, an 
important division point on the Burlington and trading center of some importance 
in the Republican Valley in recent years. 

This survey reaching to 1883, brings us to a point where towns had been started 
in almost every county in the state, outside of the vast, rather unorganized region 
then embraced in Cheyenne and Sioux counties, and later distributed into twenty- 
three counties instead of two. It was about this time that the towns of Custer County 
were started. Westerville, in 1886, being the first important town ; Broken Bow, 
having been first located in 1883 and well eclipsed its first rival in the latter years. 
As the Burlington Railroad built its line towarcj Billings in 1884, 1885, 1886 and 
1887, towns sprang up along that line; Ravenna, in Buffalo County; Ansley, Mason, 
Merna, Anselmo in Custer County; Dunning, in Blaine, Thedford, Seneca in 
Thomas County; Mullen, in Hooker County; ITyaunis, Whitman and Ashby in 
Grant County, and on toward Alliance, in Box Hiittc County, and many stations 
which have remained smaller ilian those uu^iitioncil. 

Thus, Neijraska has dexeloped into a state with only two large cities, of over 
50,001) population, Omaha and Lincoln, a do/cn smaller cities ranging from 7,000 
to 15,000, and a myriad of towns in the -.',000 to 5.000 class, good trading 
centers for fertile, prosperous territories, ami hundreds of smaller towns, yet 
carrying on extensive liu>iness interests. A truly agricultural state, it is upon 
these myriads of small towns, ami not altogether upon great cities, that Nebraska 


bases its wonderful record of achievement in agricultural, educational, religiou?, 
sotial and civic performances, that serve to make it one of the banner states of 
the Union. With well maintained churches, well endowed schools, well patronized 
newspapers, active and up-to-date business houses, well supported and clean moving 
picture theaters, it is through such a myriad of small towns that Nebraska can 
mould a citizenship that takes a low percentage record of illiteracy, a high percentage 
record in keen alert citizenship, and a most vigorous forward record in progressive 
legislation and forward government. 

t'HAPTEl? V 



"Many tbiiiys impossible in thought 
Have been In- need to full perfection brought." 

— Dnjilen. 

It is one of the peculiarities of our Anierieaii govenuiiental scheuie that has 
made this republic what it is — tliat we bring the Government so close to the people. 
Each citizen takes a deep interest and pride in the history, achievements and 
government of our Nation — but things "Xational" are a long ways off. We 
take a very close pride in our state, and the general history of the State of 
Nebraska, as a whole, is interesting. But it needs not words to describe even 
how much closer is the particular county in which one lives. It is this bringing 
the government, in smaller units and functions, close to us, that di.stinguishes 
the United States from maJiy other nations. It needs no words to describe 
that feeling of even closer proprietorship and individual pride one feels in the local 
city hall and courthouse buildings than he does in even a more majestic appearing 
Federal postoffice building. Perhaps, for one thing, because he doesn't have to 
divide his ownership, as a citizen, with one hundred millions of others. 

So in this volume, many things that might have been included in the treatment 
of the state governmental functions have been omitted to make way for the fol- 
lowing brief, synoptical analysis of the origin, organization and stage of develop- 
ment reached by each individual county in the state. 


Just as in the subject of their settlement, a short statistical review of the 
rotation in which the various counties perfected their governmental organization 
cannot but ])rove iuvalnable ms well as interesting. 


AVhen the Territorial Government assumeil the reins of government in 1854, 
Nebraska was then divided into what have been called, "The Eight Original 
Counties." These were clustered along the Jlissouri River, and starting at the 


soutli end, wciv : — Ricliardson; Forney (later changed to name of Xeniaha), Pierce 
(later called Otoe), Cass, Douglas, Washington, Burt, and Dodge, the one of 
the group that lay back away from the Missouri Eiver. 

In 1855, counties of Dakota and Cuming were organized ; and in 1856, Pawnee 
and Johnson were organized. These four were virtually pioneer counties in the 
territorial goveriunent. 


The original division according to eight counties above luentioned, was materially 
changed by the first legislature. The subdivision of so vast a domain as Xebraska 
was no slight task. Xot only was it necessary to observe the wishes of the peti- 
tioners, accede to vMvidus requests as to locations, dislike and likes for certain 
names, conionn to iiiitmal boundaries and divisions made by rivers, i-ailroads and 
other natural factors in siirli detenninations, but look to the future of a fast- 
growing territoi-y. li \y\\\ ho observed in comparing the following table, with 
that showing the lotiiiioii ol' srttlcnient of the resi)cctive counties, appearing in 
another chapter, or with the shoi-t syimpticid aiuilysis of I'ach county appearing in 
the latter pari of thi- chaplcr. that many lonntics wimv provided for, established 
as to boundaries, and nanu'd. h\ ihr cailv h'i;i<h\l nivs that did not materialize in 
latter years. Others, lenumed hut a shoit time nn(h'v the name tirst given, or 
the boundarit's lirst established .Still olhiTs. had a |ioi-tion of their original 
territory cut oil' and made into new eounlies. it is to keep these changes in mind, 
ill a, short, concise and com|n-elieiisihle loini. that the Tollowin- table is intended. 

On February is. is:,:., the Lcl: islaiuiv iv-eiiaeied the huundaiacs of Burt County : 
on February 22d. ihos,' of Washinuton ; on Maivh lith. tho^e of Dodge; on March 
2d, it had fi.xed those (,r Kon-ias and Otoe; (m Maivh ;th. those of Cass, Nemaha 
and Eichardson. Thus the minu's of Forney and I'iiMie weiv dropped; the other six 
original counties ri'-<'-tal)lisiieil. In addition t(, Uakoia. Cuming, Pawnee and 
John.son, heretofore inciitiom>d as having been very shortly organized, twelve other 
counties were established by this; Act. Of these twelve, the following eventu- 
ally were organized in somewhere approximately the boundaries fixed in this Act:^ 
Loup, which territory was later organized as Platte and Colfax, but the county 
seat named therein. Pawnee, never materialized. Greene, named for a Missouri 
senator, whose course in the Civil war displeased Nebraskans and after organiza- 
tion the county's name was changed to Seward; Lancaster, Gage, and Clay, all 
later organized, upon a basis of tw.enty-four miles square, and county seats to be 
named for Lancaster and Gage, but that of Clay to be "Clatonia." After Clay 
was organized the only effort toward building up a town in it^ borders was that 
of projected town of Austin. In lS(;i. a bill was drawn that attached the north 
half of Clay County to I,aneaster and the south half to Gage, which accounts for 
these two counties being of the ((anhiiu'd length of seventy-two miles. Jackson, 
apparently to be the western ]iart of |wesent Otoe County, never materialized as a 
county; neither did McKeaJe, of which .Manitou was to have been the county seat, 
nor Izard, with llnnton as county scat. The territory embraced in the description 
of these two cunntii's later became Stanton and Wayne counties. Saline County. 
York Co\iiify and IWilValo County, as yet unsettled when this act was passed, later 


borders when it finally came into the family of counties; and its proposed county 
seat of Nebraska Center never materialized; Blackbird County, for many years, 
for election. Judicial and revenue purposes was apportioned between Burt, Cuming 
and Dakota counties; became the Omaha reservation territory, and eventually, in 
recent years, became Thurston County. The county seats named for tlie first 
twelve counties did not all retain that honor; notably, Fort Calhoun in Washington; 
Fontanelle in Dodge; Pawnee Village in Pawnee; Catherine in Cuming; Archer 
in Richardson; Brownville in Nemaha and Blackbird City in Blackbird. 

ACT OF JANUARY 26, 1856 

This Act approved the boundaries of nineteen counties; repeating among the 
counties named in Act of 1855, York, Saline, Izard, Gage, Lancaster, Clay and 
Greene. This Act added the status of establishment to the following counties 
which were eventually organized; Jefllerson, Fillmore, Polk, Monroe, which 
eventually became the west part of Platte, Madison, Pierce, Jones, which was 
originally Jefferson County as now constituted; Butler, Platte, Dixon and Calhoun, 
which eventually became known as Saunders. 

Up until the end of this year, only the twelve counties first named above 
had been formally organized. 

1857. In this year, the l.i\uishiture established three counties, naming 
boundaries for Cedar, L'Eau-qui-Court and Cuming. Cuming was already organ- 
ized ; and in this year the following counties perfected organization : — 

L'Eau-qui-Court, which retained that name until 1867, when it was changed to 
"Emmett" and in 1873 to its present name, Knox. Cedar; Sarpy, which although 
the first county in the state to be settled, had remained a part of Douglas until 
this time, notwithstanding that at one time provision had been made to establish 
it as Omaha County. Gage and Platte were organized in this year. 

1858. Legislative act provided for establishment or changes in boundaries 
of following counties; Nemaha, re-defineti ; Dixon, re-defined; Calhoun, Merick, 
later spelled Merrick; Hall, and the three were organized in that year — Dixon, 
Merrick and Hall. ^ i 

1859. Lancaster and Kearney counties, organized. ' i 

1860. Legislative provisions made for organization of following counties; 
Wilson, Morton, Shorter, Kearney, really organized the year before, and Dawson. 
It was six years before Shorter, which was eventually known as Lincoln County, 
and eleven years before Dawson County organized, and there are no records to 
show that Wilson or Morton ever organized and exercised any functions as counties. 
These two counties were to have been out in the North Platte River — Sweet Water 
River region. In addition to re-defining boundaries of several present counties, 
provision was made for West and Nuckolls counties. Nuckolls organized some 
eleven years later, West County, proposed up along the Keya Paha River, never 
materialized and its establishment was set aside in 1862. 

1862. Saline County organized. 

1864. Buffalo County was organized. Jefferson County organizetl. The present 
Jefferson County was originally Jones County, and when it changed its name re- 
tained the name Jefferson in order to retain the countv records, and its neighbor. 

93 iiisTOTjY or NKin;.\SK.\ 

Thayer County, wliicli was .separated rrmii it. and had oi-i,<;iiially liad name Jefferson, 
hunted a new name. 

1865. Seward County was organized. As noted heretofore, it dropped its 
original name, Greene County, and adopted that of the national secretary of .state. 

1866. Saunders County, first known as Calhoun, organized as did Lincoln and 
Stanton counties. 

1867. The Legislature in this year provided for the estahlishment of several 
counties, of w-hich present Clay and Hamilton were already slightly settled, and 
Webster, Adams, and Franklin were not settled until some three years later. 

1868. Butler and Madison counties organized. 

1869. Colfax County organized. 

1870. This year witnessed tiie organization of Piene and Wayne in t])e north- 
east part of state, York, Polk and PLimilton in central jnirt and Cheyenne in far 
western part. 

1871. This year witnessed the organization of twelve counties, eight of which 
are a^ijacent to each other, five in the southern tier of the state and three in the 
next tier to the north, being Fillmore, Clay and Adams in the latter tier; and 
running east to w-est on southern tier, being, Thayer, Nuckolls, Webster, Franklin 
and Harlan. Antelope and Dawson heretofore provided for were organized, and 
Boone and Howard in the north central part were forerunners of another group 
organized about this time. 

1872. In this year, Greeley, in the Loiip A'alley, aiul Frontier, to the west 

1873. This year saw the establishment by the Legislature of a number of 
counties, of which Phelps, Furnas, Red Willow, Hitchcock, Keith, Valley and 
Shei-man then organized. Authorization that was later acted upon was given for 
the organization of Gosper, which eventually came off from Phelps; Dundy, in the 
southwest corner of the state; Chase, the next county north of Dundy. 

1876-1877. The next manifestation of activity in the formation of counties 
was that of Holt in 1876, and Custer by Act of 1877, and Hayes was established 
by Act of 1877, as was Wheeler County. After the discovery of gold in the Black 
Hills, necessity coupled with the desire of prospective settlers and goldseekers drove 
the Ogallala and Brule Sioux from their reservations in the part of the state, then 
called the Unorganized Country, and Sioux County shortly after emerged as a 
unit of vast territory that later became some sixteen separate counties. 

1879. Nance County organized. 

1881. Wheeler County was actually organized on April 11th. 

188;!. This year saw the organization of three counties: Loup. Brown and 

1884. Kcya Paha County was taken off from Brown County, (iarfield County 
was formed from the western end of Wheeler County, and Simix County was re- 
duced to almost its present proportion when in 

1885 Dawes and Sheridan were formed. Logan County down in the sand- 
hills took shape about this time. 

1886. Blaine County temporarily organized. The Burlington Railroad line to 
Wyoming and Montana building through this district, caused the formation of 
numerous counties through the Burlington Sandhills. Box Butte took form in 
this vear also. 


l.SST. Thomas County was established from the territoiy between Blaine and 
Box Butte counties; and a year later. Grant County took form, and in another 
year. Hooker County, completing the quartette of counties that border to the 
south on their va>st neighbor, Cherry County, and through which the Burlington 
line runs. In 1887, two changes took place to the south, when McPherson was 
provided for, and Perkins County was taken ofE from Keith County. 

1888. This year saw the formation of Rock County, between Bi'ow ii mihI Holt 
counties, and from big (Cheyenne, four counties were taken by an elect ion of 
November fi, 1888; being Deuel, Kimball, Banner and Scotts Blull'. 

18811. In addition to formation of Hooker Ciuinty. in this yc;ii-. the Tnili:in 
reservation territory of old Blackbird Countv. on the Missouri llMe,-. was f..rnie.l 
into Thurston County. 

1891. Boyd County was taken otr the north end ol' Holt Cnnnty. 

1908-1910-1913. In the twelve years, the three y.Minuest counties in 
Nebraska have been formulated. Morrill County was taken fnun new Cheyenne 
County in 1908, and two years later, Gai'den County was taken from Deuel County, 
and in 191.'?, Arthur County, long before provided for, and for years attached to 
McPherson County, was formed and organized from the western part of McPherson 


Railroad construction in Nebraska in the past two decades lias been very 
light, and Nebraska in 1920 still has five inland counties, in whose borders no 
railroad track traverses, and to which a trip by team, conveyance, automobile, other 
vehicle or aeroplane is the only means of entrance. These are Kej'a Paha, Loup, 
McPherson, Arthur, Banner. Several other counties, with railroad facilities at 
other towns in the county have inland county seats, without railroad facilities. are, Hayes County, Hayes Center; Frontier County, Stockville; Logan 
County, Gandy, over a mile from the railroad, but with a .station; Blaine County, 
Brewster, eighteen miles from Dunning; Wheeler County, where Bartlett is iisually, 
reached from either Ericson in that county, or Spalding, in Greeley County : Boyd 
County, Butte; and Knox County, Center. 

While it has been seven years since any new counties have been formed in 
Nebraska, there is no immediate likelihood of a ninety-fourth county coming very- 
soon. The counties south of Cherry County strongly advocate the secession of a 
couple tiers of townships on the south from, that vast county and their annexation to 
Grant, Hooker and Thomas, but this, if it came about, would probably form no 
new counties. Division of Sheridan County is strongly advocated at times, and 
would be the most likely ninety-fourth county move. Division of the vast county 
of Custer has withstood defeat in several elections, and with the development of 
good roads and general use of automobiles never seemed further of accomplish- 
ment than it does right now in 1920. County seat changes are desired in many 
counties by towns which would like to win this prize from its present possessor. 
But none have been made in very recent years, except in Franklin Cnnnty in 1020. 


A very long narrative could be woven, and most interestingly at that, concerning 
each one of the counties of the state. But to do this in one volume would make 


altogether too long a work. When this was attempted, and pretty thoroughly at 
that, some thirty-eight years ago, by the compilers of Andreas" History of Nebraska, 
1882, it made a book of over 1,500 pages, and a great deal of that in very fine print. 
Then there were only sixty-eight counties fully treated and four or five others 
slightly treated, and forty years elapsed since on each one, would make necessary 
a set of more than one volume. So in this work, only the county assigned will be 
treated in full, and a very short synopsis of the facts or origin, organization and 
development included for each of tiie other counties. 


The quickest and most comprehensive barometer of the growth of the "county" 
subdivisions of the state, is naturally reflected in the table of populations of the 
various counties, given here for each ten year period from 1860 to 1920, inclusive. 

The 1920 census shows that in Nebraska, in common with many other central 
states of the Union, and especially those states outside of the manufacturing dis- 
tricts and depending more essentially upon agriculture, many counties show a 
slight decline since 1910. On the other hand, the towns and cities show a sub- 
stantially uniform rate of increase. There are fewer. farms in 1920 and fewer 
people living in the rural districts, and it will be noted that most of the counties 
showing a substantial increase between 1910 and 1920, are those counties with 
numerous or important towns and cities. 


The State 1,295.502 1.192.; 


Adams 22,621 20.900 

Antelope 15.243 14,003 

Banner 1.435 1,444 

Blaine 1,778 1,672 

Boone 14,146 13,145 

Box Butte 6.407 6,131 

Boyd 8,243 8,826 

Brown 6,749 6.083 

Buffalo 23,787 21,907 

Bun 12,559 12,726 

Butler 13.723 15,403 

Cass 18,029 19.786 

Cedar 16,225 15,191 

Chase 4,939 3,613 

Cherry 11,753 10.414 

Cheyenne 8,405 4,551 

Clay 14,486 15,729 

Colfax 11,624 11,610 

Cuming 13.769 13,782 

Custer 26.407 25.668 

Dakota 7,694 6,564 

Dawes 10,160 5,254 

Diawson 16.004 15,961 

Deuel 3,282 1,786 

Dixon 11,815 11.477 

Dodge 23,197 22.145 

Douglas 204,524 168.546 

Dundy 4.S69 4,098 

Fillmore 13,671 14,674 

Franklin 10,067 10,303 

Frontier 8.540 8,572 

Furnas 11,657 12,083 

Gage 29,721 30,525 

Oarden 4.572 3,538 

Garfield 3,496 3,417 

Go.sper 4.669 4,933 

Grant 1,486 1,097 

Greeley 8,685 8,047 

Hall 23,733 20.361 

1, 1856-1920 


























































































































































Counties 1920 

Hamilton 13,237 

Harlan 9.220 

Hayes 3,327 

Hitchcock 6,045 

Holt 17,151 

Hooker 1,378 

Howard 10,739 

Jefferson 16.140 

Johnson 6.940 

Kearney 8,583 

Keith 5.294 

Keya Paha 3.594 

Kimball 4,498 

Knox 18,894 

Liancaster 85.902 

Lincoln 23,420 

Logan 1,596 

Loup 1,946 

McPherson 1,692 

Madison 22,511 

Merrick 10.763 

Morrill 9,151 

Nance 8,712 

Nemaha 12.547 

Nuckolls 13.236 

Otoe 19,494 

Pawnee 9.578 

Perkins 3,967 

Phelps 9,900 

Pierce 10,681 

Platte 19,464 

Polk 10,714 

Red Willow 11,434 

Richardson 18.968 

Rock 3.703 

Saline 16.614 

Sarpy 9.370 

Saunders 20.589 

Scoffs Bluff 20.710 

Seward 15.867 

Sheridan 9.625 

Sherman 8.877 

Sioux 4.628 

Stanton 7.756 

Thayer 13.976 

Thomas 1,773 

Thurston 9, 589 

Valley 9,823 

Washington 12.180 

Wayne 9.725 

Webster 10.922 

Wheeler 2.531 

Tork 17.146 

• Boundaries of Lincoln Countv 
t As Shorter County. 

































' 15,810 

16,140 11,147 


6.399 2,061 

2.452 699 

4.619 1,813 

12.738 6.113 




"152 '.'.'.'.'.'. 

153 125 

117t .. 

109 ....'.'. 

3.139 ' l',28i 


4,211 1,862 

'"■782 ""35 


"2.835 "532 

39 '.'.'.'.'.'. 



chang^ed aboii 


Adams County lies about one liundred and twenty miles west of the Missouri 
River, and twenty-four miles from the south line of the state. It is bounded by the 
counties of Hall on the north, Clay on the east. AVebster on the south, and Kearney 
on the west. 

Mortimer IST. Kress and Joe Fonts came into tlic county in 1869. On March 5, 
1870, they located claims at a point near where the Little Blue enters Clay County. 
In 1871 it w^as declared a county by executive proclamation and the first elections 
held in that year. In April of 1871, a colony of Englishmen came in and settled 
near where Hastings is located, and upon Midden's land Hastings was projected 
and the townsite laid out, in 1872. In 1871 the county had a voting population of 
twenty-nine. The line of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad built across the 
county east and west in 1871-2. The St. Joseph & Denver built into the county 
also in 1872. The area of the county is 565 square miles. The growth of the 
county as evidenced by its population, has been: Census of 1870, 19 ; 1880, 10,235; 
1885, 18,004; 1890, 24,303; 1900, 18,840; 1910, 20,900, and 1920, 22,621. 

The first county seat was Juniata, but after some efforts Hastings secured this 


prizf in 1877. Besides its metropolis, Hastings, the fourtii ( ity in tlie state, the other 
towns of the county are, Juniata, which was started in 1<S71 and is a town of about five 
hundred inhabitants now; Aj-r, which was laid out in 1878; Ivenesaw, which was 
located in 1872, and is now a town of over seven hundred; Hansen, which was laid out 
in 187!); Pauline, Leroy, Bricktou, Eoseland, Holstein, and Prosser. As in every 
county, there were some forty years ago a number of postoffices, at inland points, 
which by the establishment of rural mail routes and concentration of trade into 
other towns, have been practically, if not entirely, wiped out or discontinued. 
Among these in Adams County were Jlillington, about three miles of Ayr ; 
Ludlow, about eleven miles northeast of Hastings; Hazel Dell, about eight miles 
south of Juniata : Mayflower, about seven miles south of Kenesaw ; Kingston, about 
five miles east of Ayr; Morseville and Eosedale, in southwest corner of the county. 
With the prestige of Hastings, the ijueeii city of the state, Adams County has 
always been a county to be reckoned with in Xebraska. 


This county is in the northeastern part of the state, in the fifth tier from the east 
and second from the northern edge. Its area is 872 square miles. It was settled 
on April 25, 1868, by "Ponca George" St. Clair, in the St. Clair Valley. The 
county was established in 1871, and received its name from an incident remembered 
by Hon. Leander Gerrard, when the year before a party he was with had killed and 
refreshed themselves upon the meat of some young antelope. The county seat 
then chosen was the present site of Oakdale. The county seat Xeligh was chcsen in 
the late '70s, after the first court house had burned. The county had Indian raids 
in 1870, but no serious depredations were suffered in this county. The principal 
early towns of the county were Oakdale, founded in 1872, Xeligh, in 1873. The 
towns now flourishing in this county in 1920, are : Clearwater, started in 1872 as 
Antelope and name dianged in 1880 to Clearwater; Orchard, established 1880; 
Elgin, a town of about seven hundred in southern part of county; Eoyal, established 
in 1880, Brunswick, and inland points, St. Clair, established as a postoffice in 1876 
and named for the first settler in the county; Vim; Willowdale, where a postoiBce 
was established in 1874; Jessup, named in honor of ex-Governor Jessup of Iowa, 
and Glenalpine, settled up in 1879. This county is traversed by the main line of 
the Xorthwestern system from Omaha to the Black Hills, and liy the Sioux City- 
O'Xoill blanch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. 


This is the youngest county in Xebraska, formally organized in 1913. Prior 
to the land drawings at North ?latte and Broken Bow in 1912, when the major 
pm-tion of the land in this county was thrown open to homestead settlement, this 
vicinity was a sparsely settled west end of McPherson County. Big ranches were 
built u|i in those days, and a considerable portion of the county is yet devoted to 
ranching. The county seat town. Arthur, is a small inland village. Other post- 
oftices or trading points in the county are Zella, Melrose, Hillsdale, Cullman, Read 
and Kice. in the southern |iortioii of the county; Edward. Flora. Collins. Willctt. 
Lena, Carnian and (,'alora, in the northerti itart. The countv is reached bv autonio- 


bile stage or private conveyances from Lewellen, Lemoync or Keystone in Keitli 
County, or Hyannis or Whitman iu Grant County, and to Arthur town is about 
forty miles drive through sandhills either way. 


This county is just north of Kimball, the southwostern county in the Xehraska 
Panhandle, and borders onto the State of Wyoming, to the west. It has an area 
of 742 square miles and a population of approximately 1,500 to 2,000. It is 
an inland county, reached from Union Pacific stations in Kimball County or 
towns in Scotts Bluff County. Its county seat, Harrisburg, is a small inland town. 
The early settlements were made in the county in the late '80s. The first invasion 
of the county by white men was for ranching purposes when it was used by a couple 
of large ranches before the farming population arrived. It was organized, upon 
its division from Cheyenne, in 1888. Postoffices or trading centers other than 
Harrisburg, are Gary, Flowerfield and Epworth, in the southwest part; Heath and 
Kirk, in southeastern part; Hull, in the northwestern, and Big Horn, in eastern 
part of county. The highway from Scotts Bluff to Kimljall traverses the county 
north and south and is the main thoroughfare of travel. Banner County is a great 
wheat producing area. 


This county is located north of Custer County, and south of Brown County. 
It has an area of 711 square miles. This county has a population of between 
1,700 and 2,000. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Eailroad line to the Black Hills, 
and Billings runs through this county with stations at Linscott, Dunning and at 
Halsey, which is on the Blaine-Thomas County line. Both the Jliddle Loup and 
North Loup rivers flow through this county. Brewster and Purdum are both inland 
towns. Brewster, the county seat, is situated in a most beautiful valley. Dunning, 
the largest town in the county is a very progressive business town, and has in 1920 
the best hotel between Grand Island and Alliance, and numerous other modern, 
up-to-date brick business buildings. Blaine County, in early days, was the scene 
of much interesting cowboy history and many very profitable "hunting and fishing" 
episodes. A great deal of traffic is carried on between Brewster and Dunning by 
auto trucks in recent years. 


This county is in the fifth tier west in the state and the third north of the 
Platte River. It has an area of 692 square miles. The first settlements made in 
the county were in 1871 by people chiefly from Massachusetts, Wisconsin and 
Minnesota, among the first party being S. D. Avery, Albert Dresser, N. G. Myers, 
W. H. Stout, W. H. Prescott, and other early settlers being S. P. Bollman, Harvey 
Manicle, L. H. Baldwin, Richard Evans, T. T. Wilkinson, Elias Atwood, Sr., and 
John Hammond. Albion, the county seat, was platted in Octolier, 1872, by Loran 
Clark. The county was organized by act of Legislature, approved ilarch 28, 1871. 
Towns on the Union Pacific branch to Albion are Boone, St. Edward and Boon- 
ville. On the Spalding branch of the Union Pacific, the towns are Cedar Rapids 
and Primr.isc. On the Cliicago c^' Northwestern branch into Alliicin from the north. 


are Petersburg and Loretta. St. Eilwaid was laid out in 1871; and Cedar Rapids 
in 1879. Inland points in the iminty arc Ai-den in the very Xorthwestern corner; 
Closter and Olnes in the eastern part ; and Bradish is on the Northwestern branch 
into Albion from the east. With three branch lines running into the county, and 
two of them making junction at Albion, this little city has become an important 
trading center for a very extensive territory, and hardly any county fair in the state 
excels the annual exposition held at Albion, each September. Early towns in the 
county's history that have disappeared, or play no very important part any longer, 
were Waterville, Dayton, Dublin, Myra, Raville, Oxford, Roselma, Boone and 
Coon Prairie, some of which never had much more than a general store and school 


Box Butte is in the northwestern part of the state, just east of Sioux County, 
the extreme corner northwestern county. It has an area of 1,076 square miles. It 
owes its existence to the gold discoveries in the Black Hills in 1876. Prior to then, 
it was a part of the Brule and Ogallala Sioux Indian reservation territory. But 
the "Old Sidney'" trail to the Black Hills traversed this county, and the mighty rush 
of gold seekers and freighters verily drove the Indians back. On this noted trail, 
through Box Butte there were three important stopping places. Hart's ranch at 
the crossing of Snake Creek, Mayfield's and later the Hughes ranch, at the crossing 
of the Niobrara, and Halfway Hollow, on the high tableland between. After 
the Northwestern Railroad was extended to Deadwood, the trail dropped into 
disuse. Then came the great range herds of the Ogallala Cattle Compam-, Swan 
Brothers, Bosler Brothers, the Bay State, and other cow outfits. A unique elevation 
in the eastern part of the county, the cowboys named "Box Butte," and from that, 
the county received its name. Later, as the Burlington line built up through 
the sandhills, the rush of homesteaders came in. This county has a great reputation 
as a potato raising region and Hemiugford is a great potato shipping point. 
Alliance, the county seat, has built up to a thriving city of approximately 5,000 
inhabitants. Letan is on the Burlington branch to Sidney ; and stations other than 
Alliance on the Burlington main line through the county are, Yale, Berea, Hemiug- 
ford, Girard and Nye. Marple is an inland point. 


Boyd is a narrow, long county of some five hundred thirty-five square miles in area 
cut off from the north end of Holt County. Lying between the Niobrara River and the 
South Dakota state line, it is entirely cut off from the mother county. Holt. With the 
Niobrara on the south, Ponca Creek running through the county, and the Missouri 
River along the northeast edge of the county, it is pretty well watered. The 
Northwestern branch to Winner, South Dakota, runs diagonally southeast and 
northwest, and stations along this line, within Boyd County are Monowl, Lynch, 
Bristow, Spencer, the largest town in the county, Anoka and Baker. Other than 
Butte, the county seat, which the railroad barely missed, inland points are Naper, 
Gross and Roscdale. The settlements in this county really began much later than 
those of Holt, and most of the towns built up after the railroad came through. 


The county was separated from Holt iu 1891, and is the ninetieth eouuty in the state. 
It, therefore, has a rather short separate history. 


This county borders to the east of Cherry County, and the 100th meridian 
runs through it. The Xiobrara River is its north border, and Blaine County is to 
the south, and Rock County to the east. It has an area of 1,235 square miles. 
The Northwestern Railroad runs through the county practically east and west. 
The stations on this line are the three main towns of the county. Long Pine, 
Ainsworth and Johnstown, the latter a village of slightly over a hundred and a 
quarter. Ainsworth, the county seat, is the largest town in the county, having a popu- 
lation of over one thousand. Long Pine is the oldest settled town. H. M. Uttley 
went from Wisner to Long Pine with a steam saw mill on May 13, 1878, and 
was the first settler there. Dennis Sullivan and A. N. Bassett settled in that 
vicinity. A postoffice was established at Bone Creek in August or September, 1818, 
but in 1881 discontinued and located at Long Pine. The present town of Long 
Pine, first called Long Pine Station, is probably ten miles below the first Long 
Pine, located on Long Pine Creek. In 1880 the only points in this vicinity were 
Long Pine Station, Long Pine, Bone Creek, Evergreen and Burrows. All of 
the other points in this county are now south of the railroad, and south of Ainsworth 
and Long Pine. Among these little inland points are, Almi, Sunnyside, Raven, 
Midvale, Pike, Beardwell, Mary, Giles, Enderslake, Lakeland, and Burgan. 

The county was established in 1883, and in the following year, Keya Paha 
County was taken off the north. Prior to 1883, it was a part of the unorganized 
territory, and for a while, of the big Sioux County, when that was in an unorganized 


Burt County lies in the eastern tier, flanking on the Missouri River, and is 
the second county north of Douglas County, containing 475 square miles. It was 
named in honor of Nebraska Territory's first governor, Francis Burt, being one of 
the original eight counties. Its county seat, Tekamah was founded in 1855 by B. R. 
Folsom, W. X. Byers, J. W. Patterson, H. C. Purple, John Young, Jerry Folsom, 
Mr. Maynard, William T. Raymond, and a Mr. White, in the name of the Nebraska 
Stock Company, organized in October, 1854. Decatur, in the northeast corner 
of the county, was located in the fall of 1855, by the Decatur Town and Ferry 
Company, the principal members of which were Stephen Decatur, Peter A. 
Sarpy, B. R. Folsom, and W. B. Beck, and platted in the summer of 1856. Settle- 
ments were made at Lyons in 1867 and 1868, but the first store opened in 1871. 
Oakland was started in 1870, upon a site which John Oak, who settled there in 
1863, had purchased from the original owner, Mr. Aaron Arlington, who settled 
in that vicinity in 1859. Bancroft .started upon the arrival of the Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad in 1880, but this town is now in Cuming County. 
Other stations on the railroad just named are Eureka, Zion, Craig, Peak, and in 
addition to IV-catiir l^'ing an inland i"iiiit now. so is Argo. Xrwidu, Arizona, 
Riverside, Ald.'i- Cnnr postolHce and (ioMrn Spring were f.unuM- M^ltlcincnts in 
this countv. 



Buffalo County is nearly in tho lentral part of the state; being just south of 
Custer County, in which the geographical center of the state is located. A famous 
ranch has been established at the point which is 1,433 miles from ZSTew York, and 
the same distance from San Francisco, this being the midway mark of the continent, 
east and west, and is very close to the City of Kearney. Buffalo County was first 
settled by the Mormons in 18.58, when they located at Wood Elver Center, now 
Sheltoii. in the very eastern edge of the county. This county suffered some 
iiiaterial damage in the Indian raids of 1864. and the exodus of settlers that took 
jilace then was a deterrent for a time to its settlement. But by 1870 it had 
sufficiently recovered to form its own (irganization. For sonu- ten years it had 
virtually been a part of Hall County. The Burlington & Missouri Eiver Railroad 
came through in 1872, some six years after the Union Pacific had built across the 
county. Kearney Junction, later City of Kearney, was settled in 1870, at the 
point where the Burlington joined the Union Pacific main line, upon a townsite 
selected by D. N. Smith, representing Burlington interests. This location was 
made under the guidance of Moses H. Sydenham, who had resided in that vicinity 
since 1856, and to whom great credit is due for a guiding influence he exercised 
in the earliest days of central Nebraska. The Huntsman's Echo, a paper started 
in 18.58 at Wood Eiver Center, by Joseph Johnston, while a Mormon sheet, was 
pi'obably the first notable venture of the Nebraska Territorial Press in the central part 
of tho state, and is one of the most (|uoted from of all territorial papers for 
histdrical data of that period. Buda, located as Kearney Station, when the Union 
Pacific reached that ]ioint in 1866, for some time was the county seat, but lost 
this distinction and waned down to a small village. For a few years its name was 
Shelby and then changed to Buda. (iibbon was laid out in 1871 and has been a most 
enterprising small town in all of the years. Perhaps no citizen of Gibbon had done 
more to make its name well known and revered in the State of Nebraska than Hon. 
Sanuicl C. Bassett. Mr. Bassett has served the agricultural interests of the state in 
many ways, and been one of the foremost students of Nebraska history and 
writer of a most interesting and instructive column in recent years published 
weekly in the Nebraska State Journal. Some years ago he prepared an excellent 
iiistdrv of Buffalo Ciiunty, and has served as president of the State Historical Society 
for the past few years. Elm jTreek was started along about 1870, and Stevenson 
and Odessa became stopping points on the railroad very early. Butler's Ranch and 
Optic are also merely flagging stations. When the Burlington line to the Black 
Hills and Wvciiniiig was built. St. Micliacl. Ravenna, the second largest town in 
the cuiiuty ami a Burlington di\isi(iii ixiint. and Sweetwater sprang up. There 
are several stations on a Union Pacific branch from Kearney toward Stapleton : 
being Glenwood Peak, Riverdale,, Watertown and Miller. Xatasket, 
South Ravenna. Pleasantou and Poole, are in the very northern edge of the county 
(,n anntbcr I'liinn Parilir bran.-b. and iidand iK.ints are Sartoris and Peake. 

rt of the state, fifty-one miles directly 
• inaha as to north and smith position, 


contaiiiiug an area of 583 square miles. The county was visited by Fremont in his 
expedition of 1842. but the first permanent settlement was made in 1857. The 
county was organized in 1868. and Savannah, the first county seat held that 
distinction for only four years, when it lost to David City, the iircscnt county seat. 
The first railroad Iniilt in was the Burlington & Missouri h'uvi- ('..miiany m 1880. 
Since then the county has become iHctty well Iinncyciimbed witli railroads, David 
City being an im])ortant junction puint U>r ilivciuiiig branch lines. Ulysses, at the 
very southern edge of the county was stiuifd in ISIJS. and is several years the 
senior of David City. During the four ycai's. Savannah, which was laid out as 
early as 185!l. had the cciurt iiuiise; it was a thriving villagi^. When the Omaha & 
Reiniblican A'alley branch, now Union Pacific, luiilt through this county in 1878 
several enterprising stations were located, among which were Rising City and 
Brainaid. Other towns in the county along this line are Loma and Foley. Brainard 
was on the did ]^I(,rin(in trail through this vicinity. Other towns in the county 
now arc Surprise. Millcrtoii, Dwight. in the southern ]tart, and Octavia. Brono, 
MAv. Xindiurg. Linwood. and Edh.>lni. in flic lu.rthern part, 'i'hc Platte River 

Cass is one of the original i-ouiitics of the state, immediately south of Sarpy 
County. Its first settlement by Samuel Martin in 1853 has been elsewhere narrated. 
In l.s.'itJ it had a population ol l.v!51. Plattsmouth, its county seat, very early 
became an important railroad town and one of the important towns of the state. 
The first company of Nebraska volunteers in the war of the Rebellion was organ- 
ized at Plattsmouth on the same day that the news of the breaking out of the 
war was received. Soon after the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad built into 
Plattsmouth in 1869, it located its principal shops there. The Missouri Pacific 
Railroad came into the county in 1882. Speculators, as well as settlers, came into 
this county in the late '50s, and by the speculating element, three townsites were 
laid out on Weeping Water Creek; that of Weeping Water, which has survived 
and made a splendid town ; of Grand Rapids and Caledonia, the later town of 
Grand Rapids taking another site. Louisville was incorporated by the Legislature 
in ISoT. bttt no sub.stantial building took place until the Burlington Railroad 
aiii\cd in ]8i0. Greenwood, in the very northwest corner of the county, was located 
in 1869 by S. C. Bethel: Rock Bluff City, later Rock Bluff, was laid" out in 1856, 
and another town Xorth Rock Bluff, laid out about the same time, was consolidated 
with it in 1858. South Bend was laid out by speculators in 1857. l)ut not much 
done in way of building until 1S7(I when the railroad arrived. Factoryville was 
the site of three mills and an attempt io bnild a town around the early milling 
industry. Avoca was platted in 1882, at the crossing of the Missouri Pacific and 
Wabash tracks; Union grew from a settleuu'nt made as early as 1869; Elmwood 
grew from a very eaily settlement; and many newer towns have sprung up and 
flourished. Anioiii: the nuire prominent of these are perhaps Nehawka, which 
though small ha> furnished the state with statesmen; in recent years Gov. Geo. 
L. Sheldon and Congressman E. M. Pollard living in that vicinity. Avoca platted 
in 1,S57; Euglo, on the Lancaster County line in southwestern corner;; 
Murray. ^Mynard : Oreaimlis, a railroad point of some importance; La Platta, 


Ciillom, Cedarcreek, Munley, Munlnrk. Alv.i, and Prairie Home. Among numerous 
towns projected in this county, which liiiihcr evidence the spirit of speculation that 
strikes every new country and ot which lass County was a good example of its 
effect on our territorial days, were Cedarcreek City, filed plat in 1870; Elgin, 
1857; Clay City, November, 1856; Troy, 1857; Saline, 1857; Cladonia, 1857; 
Ca])ital City, 1857; Carlisle. 185(5; Blutfdale. 1857: Centerville. 1857: Kanosha. 
1858, and Eldorado, 1857. 


This county is located in the very northeastern corner of the state, and has an 
area of 735 square miles. It was organized in 1857. In the years 1858, 1863 and 
1863, the Indians committed many depredations in Cedar County, burning homes, 
stealing stock and murdering a few settlers. St. Helena, was the early county 
seat, succeeding the very first county seat, St. James, in 1859. These two places 
are now inland points in the very northern part of the county. The first settlers 
in the county were a group from Harrison County, Iowa. Waucapona as well as 
St. Helena was settled in 1858. Then Saby Strahm and a few others started 
Sti-ahmberg, in northwest corner of county opposite the present town of Yankton, 
South Dakota. This county had a number of other towns, that no longer extensively 
flourish, being Smithland, Logan Valley, St. Peters, Center Bow, Bow Valley, and 
Menominee, most of which had a postoffice, store and school, and did not survive 
railroad extensions. Hartington is now the county seat and principal town of 
the county. A group of very splendid towns grew wp in the south part of the 
county after the arrival of the railroads, being Eandolph, a junction point of two 
lines ; Belden, Laurel, likewise a junction point of two lines of railroad ; Magnet, 
Coleridge. In the northern part, are a new station called St. James; Wynot, 
Fordyce, with Aten as an inland point, practically at the old Strahmberg location. 

This (■(iiiiity is located in the cvticnic wr^trrii ]iart. hurdering on Colorado, and 
being just north of the extreme cnrntT c-iuinty. Dundy. The early occupation in 
this county was cattle raising exchisivcly, and it was not until in the late '80s that 
settlement for farming purposes tiuiif in very thickly. Frease and Wauneta were 
the first towns in the county, ami the latter is still an important town, being 
>e(-ond town in the county. Inipriial. the county seat, is the terminus of a branch 
from Culbertson, the only raili-nail line into the county. Imperial, Wauneta and 
Enders are the three railroad ^l.■lll<lll^ in the cnunty. The other points, all being 
inland, are Best, Champidii. Lamar ami Chase in the western i)art oi' the county, ami 
CathiTine and Blanche, in the iiorth. 'astern ]iart. While the county was given 
legal e^talilishiiieiit in is::;, it di,! jmt really funetiiui tor some years later. 

t tllKIIIiV corxTY 

This is the largest county in the state, with an area of 5,97!) square miles; but 
a large portion of this not very densely settled. The county is traversed east and 
west by the Niobrara Railroad and has the main line of the Xorthwestern Railroad 
to the Black Hills running across the county. This county was a part of the 

ins'l'ol.'V OF \Kr.i;ASKA to:; 

uiiorgauized territory, until that vast region assumed the name of Sjoux County. 
It was given sei>arate establishment in 1883, and was named in memory of Lieut. 
Samuel A. Cherry. Fiftli Cavalry, who was killed near Eock Creek. Dakota, about 
eight miles north of Fort Niobrara, May 11, 1881. The people who thought 
their "right of petition" had the selecting of a name for the county were of 
them acquainted with the valiant soldier, and the uame was adopted by practically 
universal consent. Fort Niobrara in those stormy days was the nuiin center of 
activities in that region. By the time of the establishment of the county there 
were practically no settlements within its borders except Fort Xinbrara. ^rcCann. 
and Poor's Ranch. Cherry County is dotted with hundreds of lakes, but among 
those which had received a name forty years ago, were Lake Stephenson, Soda Laki' 
in western part of the county; Dad's Lake, Eed Deer Lake, Marsh Lake and 
Pelican Lake. The stations and towns that have built up along the railroad now 
are Wood Lake, Arabia, Thatcher, Valentine, the county seat and thriving metropolis 
of the county; Crookston, Kilgore, Nenzel, Cody, Eoxby, Eli, Merriman, Ijcat, 
Irwin, Soudan. Cherry County has a myriad of inland points; along the Niobrara 
Eiver are, Bayonne, Harlan, Lavaca, Bailey, McCann, Burge, and north of the 
railroad, are Britt, Harmony, Hire, and Sparks. In the vicinity of Snake River 
are Dewey Lake, Hood, Lake; along Boardman's Creek, are Lund, Balfe, Rolf, 
Chesterfield, and Matteson, at its junction with Snake River. Along the North 
Loup River are Pullman, at its headwaters, Capwell, Ethel, DeWitty, Brownlee, 
the important trading center of the southern portion of the county ; Lewanna, 
Cascade and Elsmere. In the southwestern quarter, west and south of the head- 
waters of the North Loup are Martindale, Survey, King, Ptillman, Big Creek, 
Curlew, Cherry, Erik, and Wells. In the eastern portion of the county, inland 
points mainly in the lake vicinity are, Kennedy, Oasis, Red, Deer, Conterra, Yian. 
Rex, Elizabeth, and Simeon. It is very probable that places just as important as 
some of these have been omitted among the myriad of such inland points in this 
county, which is in itself a vast and partially undeveloped empire. 


Cheyenne County was organized by the second state legislature by act approved 
June 12, 1867. An election was not held until 1870, and the first officers were 
then elected. The county was quite appropriately named for the Cheyenne Indians. 
The county, in the period extending from 1864, when the Indians began to resent 
the intrusion of the numerous white settlers, was the scene of a great deal of 
military activity. Numerous military camps and forts were established in the 
borders of the county as it then existed. In September, 1864, Camp Shuman was 
established three miles west of Scottsbluff (Jap; and minor fortifications at Ficklin"s, 
nine miles east of Scottsbluff. and iliul Springs, eight miles easterly from C(uirt- 
house Rock. Fort Grattan was built at the mouth of Ash Hallow, after the battle 
of that name. Fort Sidney was established December 13, 1867, known then as 
Sidney Barracks. It became an independent post November 28, 1870, and was 
abandoned June 1, 1874. Sidney built up after the railroad came through in 1867. 
Lodgepole, Sunol, Potter, Colton and Herndon soon followed, and later stations 
established on the Union Pacific, have been Margate and Brownson. The Burlington 
branch from Alliance to Sterling and Denver, Colorado, has l)rought aliout a 


number of towns, including Lorenzo, Huntsville, Marlowe, Gurley and Daltou. 
Numerous inland points in this county, as it finally stands after six counties have 
been taken out of its original area, are Sextorp, Leafdale, lekes, Clara. Henry and 


This name was first given to a county later absorbed by Gage and Lancaster, 
and in 18G7 transferred to the present Clay County, in the second tier from the 
south border of state and three counties west of Lincoln, with an area of 579 
square miles. The first white settlement was made by John B. Weston, afterwards 
auditor of the state, in 1857. A group of about as evenly balanced towns in 
population and trade strategical positions has been built up in this county, as it 
would be possible to find anywhere within such close confines. Of these five towns, 
Sutton, the largest, and the first county seat of the county, was started in 1870, by 
settlement of Luther French; but the first business house opened in May, 1871. 
Harvard started in 1871. Edgar had a postoffiee established in 1872, and was laid 
out in 1873. Fairfield was projected in 1872 when the St. Joe and Westei-n Eailroad 
reached that far. When the B. & M. Eailroad came in, Sutton and Grafton had 
a very bitter struggle for supremacy, as it was proposed to leave Sutton without 
a depot. Clay Center started in 1879, and eventually won the countyseat-ship. 
With five such splendid towns, all having more than a thousand population. Clay 
County has a large number of other railroad stations; among which are Ong, 
Deweese, Springranch, Alma Junction, Glenville, Yerona, Saronville, Inland, Trum- 
bull and Eldorado. Inland was laid out in 1871 ; Glenville in 1873 ; and Springranch 
established as a postoffiee in 1870. 


Colfax is in the third tier from the Missouri River, on the north banks of 
the Platte River, and contains 276,480 acres of land. It was first settled in 1856, 
but the early settlements did not flourish very generally until the Union Pacific 
Eailroad was built through in 1865-6. Schuyler, the county seat, was established 
in 1869. The story of the foundation of Buchanan has been told in another chapter 
in this work, relating to establishment of towns. Rogers and Richland were early 
shipping points on the Union Pacific main line. Richland at one time was called 
Benton and was a town of some promise. Lambert is another station on the Union 
Pacific main line. A line of the Xorthwestern road running east and west through 
the north side of the county has built up Howells, Clarkson and Leigh, three 
thriving little towns, and Bissell, Heun and Wells are inland towns. 


Cuming County is in the northeastern part of the state, with only Burt between 
it and the Missouri River to the east, and contains 504 square miles. It was 
originally settled in 1856, by Benjamin B. Moore, wife, daughter and three sons, 
from Hillsdale, Mich. They settled at Catherine, or Dead Timber, as then called. 
In March, 1857, Uriah Bruner, John J. Bruner, Henry A. Kosters. William 
Sexaner, .Aiidivw .1. I'.niiicT. I'rtcr Wrindliciin. lleiirv Kike. Charles Beindorf and 


others of Omaha, organized as "The Nebraska Settlement Association," aud the 
results of their surveys and excursions was the town of West Point, in the southeast 
corner of the county, aud the future county seat of the county. John D. Neligh 
was an early settler and the first treasurer of the county. West Point was platted 
and surveyed as a town in 1869. A store was opened at Wisner the same year. 
Bancroft was platted in 1880 when the branch to Pender went through. Beemer 
is another town, between Wisner and West Point that has built into a thriving 
trade center. Monterey is an inland point, ("uming County has about as few towns 
in the state as any county of its size, but is in an excellent agricultural district and 
is a very prosperous county. 


Custer County is the second largest county in the state, and is situated right in 
the center. The geographical center of the state is near Westerville in eastern 
Custer County. It would take a separate volume to do justice to even a condensed 
history of Custer County. Settlements were not made in this county, of a per- 
manent nature, until 1873 and 1874. The county was organized in 1877 and named 
after the martyred Gen. George A. Custer, who had his tragic death in the 
preceding year. The first county seat projected was Custer, on the South Loup River, 
some twenty miles south of its eventual successor. Broken Bow. A proposed Garber 
County, just west of Valley, and in present northeastern Custer County, failed of 
organization, but the name stuck for some time to that territory until after the 
organization of the present Custer County. The remainder of the unorganized 
territory in this region was for a time known as Ivountze County, after the 
wealthy bankers of Omaha, but that name was likewise superseded by Custer. Lewis 
R. Dowse, who settled in the Middle Loup Valley in 1873, is accorded generally the 
honor of being the first settler in the county, antedating the others. The first post- 
office established in the county was at Xew Helena by C. R. Matthews. The different 
localities gradually settled up; Lee's Park, in 1874; Spencer's Park, in 1879; 
Lillian, 1880 or 1881 ; Merna Valley in 1882 ; W. G. Brotherton being one of the 
pioneer settlers of this region; Custer Center in 1880, when there was no Broken 
Bow yet ; but there was a postoffice of that name kept by Mr. Pelham. The west 
table filled up from 1883 on. In June, 1889, settlers commenced to come to Dale. 
Redfern Table started to settle up in 1883-4. W. A. George, who had been in the 
county temporarily thirteen years before, settled near Georgetown in 1887, and thus 
the county filled up during the '80s very rapidly. In 1880, Wilson Hewitt was 
postmaster upon his homestead, but the name sent in had been rejected, and while 
he was trying to figure out a new name, the children brought in a broken arrow 
and bow, and he sat down and sent in the name "Broken Bow" which was 
accepted, and for many years remained the only town in the country with that name, 
until a large lumber company which had started its business career at Broken 
Bow, named a town in Oklahoma after the Nebraska town. The townsite was 
platted in 1883 by Jess Gandy, and the postoffice there then kept by C. D. Pelham, 
who had a store also. Westerville was an early town, and lost the county seat to 
Broken Bow, but two county fairs were held there, in 1883 and 1884, but Broken Bow 
secured the fair after that. Merna was projected in 1883, and has developed into a 
very important town. Leo"s Park was laid out in 1884. But this town and Wescott 

lOfi lllSIOItV (»F NKlillASKA 

lost (lilt, when thf railroail Imilt up the .Midille Loup Valley, and Coinstock, surveyed 
in iSiiH and named fur W. 11. ConistiMk, and Sargent, secured the railroad line. 
The first .settler in the South Loup Valley was Frederick Schreyer, who came in 
1875. Mr. J. Wood.s Smith, in 1885, while reading in a paper in the lobby of the 
Paxton Hotel in Omaha that the Omaha & Kepubliean Valley Railroad was going 
to build a braneh up ihe Soutii T^mip X'alley. from the Wood River Valley and 
Kearney, went to the map and ehoM' a site for a townsite, whieli materialized into 
Callaway, the town being named in honor of S. R. Callaway, then general manager 
of the Union Pacific road. Dr. L. Mieheal, Harry O'Neill and John Moran were 
among the first to build business places in the new town. The postoffice on the 
Graves farm called Delight was iiiummI and name changed to Callaway. Berwyn 
started in 1887. Mason City, the ■•(^u-en City of the Muddy," was located by the 
Lincoln Land Co. in 1886 ; Sargent was laid out in 1883 ; Ansley was projected in 
188(1 ; .\nselmo, named for Aniselmo Smith, a Burlington surveyor, was started 
about ISSC: Oconto was located in 1887, and Arnold, named in honor of George 
Arnold, was laid out in 1883. but waited practically forty years for the arrival 
of tlie railroad. Other stations in Custer County, are Lodi, Triumph, Milldale, 
on the Union Pacific branch that runs through Callaway, Oconto and Arnold on np 
to Stapileton. Inland points ,are Scandia, Cumro, Georgetown, Etna, Table, 
Tuckerville, Ryno, McKinley, and Ivlump in the southern and western part of 
the county, some of which have been virtually abandoned in recent years. In the 
eastern and northern parts, there are Huxley, Kingston, Coburg, Elton, Weissart, 
Round A'nlley. Gates. Millburn. Phillipsburg and Walworth. 


This county is in the northeastern corner of the state, with the Missouri River 
as its northeastern border, being virtually a triangular county, with only 253 
square miles of area. It was created in 1855. Dakota City, the county seat was 
located in 1856. Ten miles west of Dakota City was started Jackson, first called 
Franklin, the name changed to avoid conflict with another town of that name. 
This started about 1860. Homer, in the southeastern part of the county, started in 
1872. Other towns in the .(nuity are Hubbard, starteil 1880; Covington, started 
1856, five miles north of Dakota Cily on the Missouri River: Emerson, formerly 
in this conntv. but now in Tbuiston County, was established in 1881. Other more 
mo.lrni town's are Xae,,ra. Col. urn. Wo.hI Park, (o.o.lwin and Vista. 


Situate within a few miles of the foot of the famous Black Hills, in the extreme 
northwestern portion of Nebraska, with only Sioux County between it and Wyoming, 
lies Dawes County. The territory embraced in Dawes County was first settled 
in 1884, liv a band of as hardy and d<>termiiuMl i)ioneers as ever crossed the ]ilains 
to seek homes m the (Ireat West. Prominent citizens who signed a petitiim 
in 1885 included the following early settlers among others, Cyrus Fairchild, B. S. 
Paddock, E. S. Nesbitt, E. Egan, B. F. Carley, F. M. Dorrington, J. H. :M(iIillan 
and W. H. Reynolds. The location of the county seat was hotly contested betw(>.'n 
Chadron and Dawes Citv, the latter now known as Whitney, but Chadrou w,m l)y 


a vote of 582 to 364, and 3 cast for Bordeaux. The county is 36 miles square. 
Tlie Nebraska and Northwestern division of the Northwestern, has developed the 
towns of Bordeaux, Chadron, Dakota Junction ; Whitnej-, and Crawford, the junction 
of this line and the Burlington, which also has the stations of Horn, Rutland, 
Belmont, Dooley and Marshland at the southern border of the county. Wayside 
is on a branch that leads from Chadron into the Black Hills. Inlaml points are 
Pine Ridge, Dunlap, Pepper Creek, Antelope, Wolvington, ilaiulicstiT. Il(iu;;li. Any 
county with two such thriving, metropolitan cities as Chadron and Crawford has 
a future before it. In recent years, different wholesale houses over the country 
have been choosing one or the other of these cities for distributing center, and 
Crawford is especially well located for this purpose, while Chadron is dcvclnping 
as a railroad point. 


Dawson County is situated 21o miles M'est of the Missouri River, on the banks 
of the Platte River, and contains 985 square miles. In the times of the overland 
freight and emigrant traffic, Dawson presented many lively aspects, and in the days 
of the cattle range. Plum Creek was a terminus of fame, along with Ogallala to the 
west. The county was settled in 1861-3 to a very slight extent. TIp' cMiiiiity was 
organized in 1871. It was in Dawson County that the famous laid «as >tarted 
in 1864 with the massacre of the emigrant train of eleven wagons. Plum Creek, 
was established in 1871. In 1889 its name was changed to Lexington, and it is 
today a thriving little city. Overton was first settled in 1873, and in that same 
year, John J. Cozad came out from Ohio and bought land of the rninn Pacific, 
and made arrangements for a town there. It was at one time lallfd Ihiiidredth 
Meridian, as it is located practically' on that line, but eventually took tbi' name, 
Cozad. Willow Island was laid out early iu the ".SOs, and later another town started 
west of it, at the verj' western edge of the county, that is a very thriving small 
town, Gothenberg. Farnam in the southwest corner is on a Union Pacific branch ; 
Sumner and Eddyville in the northeastern corner are on another Union Pacific 
branch. Josselyn is a station some forty years old. Dass and Buffalo are about the 
only inland points. 


Deuel County was organized in the fall of 18S8, when it was cut off from 
Cheyenne County. This division held until liilu when Garden County was divided 
from the north portion, Deuel County was named after a division superintendent 
of the Union Pacific. Much of the early history of the county is embraced in 
the general story of Cheyenne. Its county seat, Chappell, like Sidney, dates back 
to its first beginnings to the time the Union Pacific came through about 1866, or 
1867. Big Springs and Barton sprang up before the county was settled for more 
than ranching purposes. Perdu and Ralton are other stations on the Union Pacific 
line. Between Big Springs and Chappell, the two main towns of the county, the 
Union Pacific line delves down into Colorado and touches Julesburg. This famous 
old frontier town has been so closely associated with Deuel County, or perhaps vice 
versa, that it is hard to separate the two. With Garden County taking 1,652 square 
miles of area, Deuel was left with only 439 square miles, so it must make up in 
quality wliat it lost in quantity. 



Dixon count}' is the most northeasterly county in the state, and has an area 
of 473 square miles. Previous to the advent of white men, this county was 
the home of various tribes of Indians, mainly the Poncas. The first settlers, so far 
as can be as ascertained, arrived in 1856, and among them were John, Solomon B., 
and Jacob Stough, two brothers named Brown, C. F. Putnam, and W. H. Jones. 
Hard times visited these first colonies in 1857 and 1858, and the Indian massacres 
in 1863 retarded growth for a tinie. Ponca, was surveyed and platted in 1856 by 
Doctor Stough and Frank West, its first chief proprietors. Martinsburg, now an 
inland point, was started in 1873. Towns that once flourished in this county were, 
Logan Grove, Parkhill postoffice, New Castle, Ionia, Lime Creek, Aoway Creek, 
Dailey Branch, Ellis, Silver Eidge, JIawkeye, and Spring Bank. Like other older 
counties, many changes have taken place in the smaller settlements. Towns now 
prominent in this county are, Wakefield, on Wayne-Dixon county line; Concord on 
the Hartington branch of the f'.. St. P., M. & 0. : Dixon and Allen on another 
branch line, and Newcastle and Maiiskell in the northern part of the county above 

Dodge County is located in the second tier of counties from the Missouri Eiver, 
and on the Platte River. It has an area of ."i:?! si|uare miles. The first settle- 
ment was made in 1X56, when John and Arthur Bloomer made claims near the 
mouth of Maple Creek, in April. On May 35th. ilrs. Wealthy Beebe and her 
children and Abram McXcal. her son-in-law, settled two miles west of where 
Fremont later sprang up. On .hily 4th. the' North Bend Colony arrived, and in 
August, 1856, the first sctrlfinfiits were made toward the inception of Fremont, 
where a town coni])any wiis f(]nncil under the name of I'inney, Barnard & Co. 
On September 3, ]h5(i, the town was named for (ien. .John C. Fremont, the 
republican presidential candidate, and a man who certainly played no small part 
in discovering the possibilities of Nebraska. But, with all that appropriateness, it 
might have never received that name had it not been for its rival, twenty-five miles 
away on Shell Creek, named Buchanan. When the Sioux City & Pacific, the 
Elkhorn Valley branch of the Union Pacific was built, Scriber and Hooper sprang 
up about 1871. Timberville and Wallace, early stations on the Union Pacific have 
been displaced by Sandberg, and Ames, and Bay State. On the Scriber and Hooper 
branch, some forty years ago were also Oak Springs and Crowell, but. now that 
northern part of the county boasts of Dodge and Snyder, as well as Crowell and 
Junction. Pleasant Valley, Everett and Clyde are inland points, and Nickerson, 
West End and Winslow are on another branch line. IMapleville. Pebble, Webster, 
Bohemia. Glenroe, Jamestown, Jalapa and (ialnia were formerly thriving inland 

This is the county of largest po|iulation in the state. With the City of Omaha, 
in its borders, having a population of over lIM.ooii. ,,r \irtually 200,000 people, and 
jierhaps one-si.\th or more of the ]iopulation of the state within its borders, this 
county presents a volume of history that it is absolutely impossible to 


in the spgee this review can allot, and do ample justice in a fractional measure. 
It was one of the eight original counties, proclaimed by Governor Cuming. The 
first important settlements, as outlined in the chapter dealing more closely with 
towns, was made by the ilormons at Florence. The foundation of Omaha was also 
sketched therein. In 1854. the territorial capital was located at Oiiialu). and though 
that distinction was some thirteen years later surrendered to the new village of 
Lincoln, Omaha at once started to grow into the jMsition of the metropolis of the 
state, and now not only has that position firmly launched, but is a serious contender 
for the broader distinction of being the commercial, industrial and manufacturing 
"Gateway of the jSTorthwest." From the time the first ground was broken for the 
Union Pacific Railroad on December 3, 1863, Omaha's growth started by leaps and 
bounds. By 1870 the city had a population of 16,000, a figure now only eclipsed in 
the state, fifty years later, by Omaha and Lincoln. By 1880, Omaha was a city 
of around 40,000, and in 1920 barely missed 200,000. Florence, Dundee, Benson 
and Soiith Omaha were recently taken into the corporate limits of Omaha, and 
became a part of Greater Omaha. The latter, South Omaha, with its great packing 
houses and stock yards, located therein, had reached the proportions of a city 
of almost 30,000 when it joined its bigger sister. Allbright and Ralston are thriving 
suburbs, so far escaped from annexation. Waterloo, laid out in 1871, and Millard, 
also laid out in 1871, and named for Ezra Millard, its founder, are thriving 
outside towns in the county, Mercer, Bonnington, Briggs, Elkhorn and Lane are 
smaller points in this county. The history of the state cannot be written on any 
subject treated elsewhere in this state historical review without touching extensively 
upon Omaha and Douglas ('ounty. 


Dundy County is situated in the extreme southwestern corner of the state with 
Colorado bounding it on the west, and Kansas on the south. Its area is 927 
square miles. The census of 1880 showed a population of 1,880, and its settle- 
ments before that, dating back to 1872, were mainly for cattle ranching pur- 
poses. At the mouth of the Arickaree, J. Haigler had a ranch in 1872. The first 
principal settlement was around CoUinsville, named in 1880 for Moses Collins. 
During 1881 and part of 1882, this point did a considerable business, being for 
that time a supply distributing station for the railroad. Early in the spring 
of 1882, the railroad company, having built a depot, changed its name to Beukleman, 
in honor of the extensive stock raiser, J. G. Benkleman. Other stations along the 
Burlington line in this county are Haigler, in the southwestern corner of the 
county; Parks and Max. Inland points are Lament, RoUwitz and Lux. The 
county was organized for governmental purposes long after its legislative estab- 
lishment, which was enacted in 1873, and was named in honor of T'nited States 
Judge, Elmer S. Dundy. For many years it was attached to Hitelu-ock ('cunty for 
legislative, judicial and i-cvimiuc purposes, and cum[io?ed of but one pn'i-inct in its 
local governniont. 


Fillmore Ciuinty is Ku-atrd twi'iity-four miles north of southern Ixmndary of the 
state, and ninetv mili-< west the .Missouri River, with an area of 576 square 


miles. The first settlement iu tlie county was made in 1866, l)j William Bussanl 
and William Wliitaker. In 1868 a few more settlers came in, but it was in 187(i 
tliat the rush of emio^ation started. The county was organized in 1871, and in that 
year Geneva and Fairmont were laid out. Of the other towns, Grafton was founded 
in 1874, and Exeter, in 1871. The Burlington system built into the county in 1871, 
and in 1888 the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missciuri Valley (now Northwestern) raiiir 
in. Exeter is the junction, of the Burlington east and west line, and a liraucli 
crossing from Seward down to Superior and the other towns that have devcldiied 
on this line through the county are Sawyer (Geneva already mentioned), ilartlaud. 
Shickley and Carlisle. In the south ]iart on another line of railroad are Strang, 
W. Strang, E. Strang and Ohi(i\v;i. with Shickley as the junction between that 
B. v<: M. liraneh and the dtliei- ime just named. Milligan and Burress are on a 
branch that comes up from Fairbury antl comes into Fairmont. Lyman is on 
still another branch. With six branch lines entering or traversing >n(li a 
small county, it is one of the few counties in the state without an inland jioint 
of any cciiisecjuence, for no farm in Fillmore County could be very many miles 
away from at least one or two lines of railroad. 


Franklin County is in the Mintlieni tier of counties, 17.5 miles west of the 
Mis.souri River, and has an area of ')"iX s(|nare miles. It was settled in lS7il by a 
colony from Omaha, among whom were W'ni. C. Thompson, Jas. W. Thonijison. 
Richard Beckwith, John Corbin, Isaac Chaiiiiel and Barnett Ashbourne. In the 
following year practically every man in the colony joined a military company, 
formed to protect the settlements against the Indians. The county was formally 
organized in September, 1871. Bloomington, the county seat until l!t20, was 
laid out in 1872. The Burlington Railroad line came in during 1870. Tlie 
original Thompson party located at a point that later became Riverton, where the 
]iostotli(e was established in 1871. Xaponee was made a postoffiee also in 1871. 
Franklin City was the earliest settlement that made a town, but another town 
which was first called Waterloo, was laid out, and always known as Franklin, 
and this place held the county seat until 1.S74. when Bloomington cajitured it, 
and in 11)20 Franklin recaptured this coveted prize. In lS7!t. a town was laid 
out liy the railroad company between the two Franklins, and it was that town 
wliich eventually captured the name. An academy, started in 1881 at Franklin, 
is an educational institution of wide repute. In the north part of the county along 
the Burlington branch to Curtis, tlie thriving towns of Campbell, Upland and 
llildrcth. have liuilt up. ilaeon is still an inland point, and points that u.sed to 
play a part in Franklin County affairs were Moline, Ash Grove, West Salem, Stock- 
ton, Amazon, Langdon, Marion, Clyde, Sand Hill, Freewater and Orange. The 
Republican River traverses the county through the southern tier of townships. 


Frontier i 


■ is sit 


.second ti 

cr froi 

n the 


1 of It::. > 




of the sta 
.f it. It h, 
. 1.S72. At 


idiiiify lies ill 

the sou 

tlK' west. 

It idiitains 1 

■il squi 


1 Hiirtoii, wli(, 

1 orated 


HI Vallfv alHiiit 

this sa 

of Sarpy 

Ccmiity witii th 

e P.ea\c 

Harlan . 

•oiinty line. Iiu 

t in w 

]'hillip.s ( 

■anie in ISTl to 

a local i 


time there were several stock raisers, and two permanent settlers, Henry C. and 
Mortimer H. C'liiford, who had married sqnaws and settled on the Medicine, a 
short distance from where Stockville was later located, and lived in lodges there. 
Stockville, very nearly in the center of the county, was the first settlement pro- 
jected, and became the county .seat. Curtis is the ]jrinci]ial town in the county, and 
in 1911 secured the new State Agricultural College, to be located in the central 
or western portion of the state. Three other towns have built np along the Burling- 
ton Railroad in this county, besides Curtis. These are Maywood, iloorefield and 
Eustis. Besides Stockville. the only well-developed inland towns, are a number of 
inland points for postottices or trading purposes, among these being Osburn, 
Counter])oint, Havana. Freedom. Essex, Quick, Stevens. Orafiiio and Earl. Laird, 
Stowe. Afton and Equality were formerly such inland |ioiiits on this county's map 
that no longer seem to be on the scene of action. 

FfliXAS corxTY 

tlicrn tier of counties, with three more counties to 
re iiiile^. The first settler is reputed to have been 
there in IsTii. (4alen James made his way up the 
lie time, to near Melrose and located at the junction 
r. which is a point practically on the present Furnas- 
lat was then known as James County. Theodore 
ty that became the settlement of New Era. Burton's 
Bend was .started in 1871 by J. B. Burton at a point five miles west of Arapahoe. 
Arapahoe was .surveyed in 18?2. The first store in Beaver City, was started in 
1873, but the town was settled in October, 1872. Arapahoe had been started 
through the efforts of a townsite company organized at Plattsmouth, in 1871, with 
('apt. F. B. ilurphy, Charles Brown, Geo. W. Love, John Fitzgerald, Dr. W. E. 
Dowland. D. H. Wheeler, H. M. Crnm, George W. Colvin, and A. Lashley as lead- 
ing spirits. In the first elections with Arapahoe and Beaver City contesting for the 
advantage of being county seat, Beaver City had the most votes, but its returns did 
not arrive in the office of the secretary of state until the day after the canvassing was 
set, and as only Arapahoe's votes were counted it won, for the time being. But 
at the first general election in thecounty, in 1873, Beaver City won the prize, and 
lias since retained it. Wilsonville was settled in 1872 and e.stablished as a post- 
office in 1873. Hendley was established by a Hastings townsite company in 1888. 
Other towns along the Imperial branch of the Burlington, besides Arapahoe, are 
Oxford, Edison, Holbrook and Cambridge and all four of these have developed into 
very well known trading and shipping centers. Only Springgreen and Precept 
remain actively on the list of inland points, which formerly some forty years 
ago also included Wilmot. ilidway. Richmond. Shernuin. Rockton. Ciddwatcr. 
Cari.sbrook, Lynden. Whitney, and Rexford. and it might also be noted that in 
the earlv 'SOs, Reaver Citv ami Wilsonville were, of course, also inland iioints. 

■ third tier of counties west «\' the :\IisS(,iiri Ifiver. and is 
Lancaster (Lincoln) and the Kansas line, ami contains 


S32 s.niaiv miles. TUr liist settler wns David Palmer, wlin came to the couiity 
iu l,S.-)4. (.1- is:,:,. Ml'. I'almer uas (li(,\vneil in ISTii while swiimnin.u- in the Blue 
River. On the niomiiig of April 3, 1857, thirty-five persons on board the steamer 
Hannibal, then plying the Missouri between St. Louis and Xebraska City, organized 
themselves into a colony, whieh t'onned with a written constitution and by-laws, 
ami ii|i(iii ai-ri\al in what is ii(,w Gage County they chose a site and started the 
t<,\vn (,f '"Heatriee"" si, named after a daughter of Judge John F. Kinney, of 
Nebraska City, one of the leaders of the colony. Other leading spirits were J. B. 
Weston, later state auditor; Q. T. Loomis, J. R. Nelson, Albert Towle. Dr. IT. M. 
Reynolds. Bennett Pike, John McConihe, H. F. Cook and Dr. Wise. In the same 
year another settlement was made seven niiles north of Beatrice, and still another 
at Blue Springs, ten miles southeast of Beatrice. The former, on Steven's Creek 
was in what was for a while Clay County. This settlement, which later took the 
name of Indian Creek was eclipsed by Beatrice in a commercial way. The Indians 
caused some trouble in the early history of these settlements, but treaties with 
the Government soon quieted dowji this situation. To a citizen of Gage County 
fell the honor of securing the first homestead entered in the United States. The 
homestead law went into effect in .lamiaiy. 1.SR.3. and he was ready the night 
before to secure his filing, stopidng on his way to military service in the pending 
war. His patent is numbered 1, and is recorded in Volume 1, page 1 of the records 
of the general land office at Washington. The B. & M. reached Beatrice through 
the valley of the Blue in 1871. The Atchison & Nebraska, cuts across the north- 
east ciriier of the ,-oiinty. witli alioiit ten miles of line and one station. Adams. 
The Rook Island a.ross the northwest e(,rner of tlie county has Clatonia. and its 
branch east and west across the county, through Beatrice, has Yirgina, Rockford and 
Ellis. The Burlington branch across the county east and west through Beatrice 
has Filley, a station also for Rockford. and Hoag. The Fnion Pacific line from 
Lincoln to Manhatten, north and south through the county, through Beatrice, has 
as stations, Cortland, and Pickrell. nortli of Beatrice ami to the south, Putnam, 
Blue Springs, Wymore and Barne.ston. Another B. & M. line across the south edge 
of the county, which makes junction with the U. P. at Wymore, has developed 
the towns of Ijiberty, Kriders. Odell, Odell Junction and Lanhani on a branch that 
breaks off at O.lell . I unction. Thus it will be noticed that Gage County is well 
honeycombed with railroail lines. Ihdmesville- and Bhie Springs Junction are 
on another spur of the Union Pacific. Only Hanover and Townsend appear to be 
actively on a list of inland points that forty years ago included Reserve, Dover, 
Wild Cat, Cottage Hill. Bear Creek. Melroy, Greer, Freeman, Roperville, Blaine, 
Barkey, Merserveville. and Silver. The (,lil Otoe Indian reservation occupied the 
four townships in the so\itliei-n liiu- of the county. The Otoe Agency was near 
the site of present town of l.ihertv. 

This c(,unty was ml oil from 1 )emd County in I HI it and it> history is mainly 
wrapped U|i 111 that ,,f Deuel since ISSS. and helon' that in the great molh.M- county. 
Cheyenne. The principal permaii.-nl settlements, ex.vpt for the carlv ranching 
activitio ,,r the great catlK^ ranchers, materialized late in the '.Siu an.l early ''MK. 


on maps were Rockj- Point, Swan Lake and Beaver Lake. But this county has a 
number of very prosperous and thriving towns along the branch of the Union 
Pacific that comes up from North Platte, and goes on to the western edge of the 
state. Oshkosh is the county seat, and Lewellan, Lutherville, Penn, Lytle and 
Lisco, the other towns. To the south, the only inland point is Kowanda. The 
Platte River traverses the county, south of the railroad line. To the north a few 
inland points have sprung up, being mainly at Goodland, Velma, Warren, Lakeview, 
Tippets, Eackett, Mumper, Orlando, Pawlet, Sterbins, Moffit and Thelma. On 
division, this county took 16.52 square miles of territory and left Deuel witli only 
439 square miles of area. 


The beginnings of (iarfield County were laid in Xovember, 1872, when Charles 
H. Jones, who came frcmi Allegan, Michigan, after two years of roughing it, 
in the lower Loup Valleys, went up iutn the present Garfield County ten-itory, 
and became the founder of the Willi>\v Springs settlement. It is reputed that 
Trueman Freeman arrived very soon after Jones had squatted at the mouth of the 
cedar canyons. With him came Thomas McClimans, so the latter may be considered 
the third settler. William Pierson and A. R. Harper arrived in February, 1873, 
and soon after came Richard McClimans, the Messengers, William Draver, William 
Smith, Mrs. Buinpus, George Leflfuigwell, Captain Alger, Frank Webster, L.W.White 
Geo. McAnulty, Ike Bartholomew, Geo. Horton, Stephen Chase, Wni. Wertz, A. A. 
Alderman, and Ross and Wm. Woods. Garfield County is immediately south 
of Holt County and eighth county to the west from the Missouri River, and has 
an area of 575 square miles. The Battle of Pebble Creek in 1874 was the crux of 
Indian troubles the early settlers experienced, for in 1876 relief came in the estab- 
lishment of Fort Hartsuff, the famous military post of the Loup region, within 
the borders of this county. For more than eight years after settlements began, 
Garfield County was in what was known as the "Unorganized Territory." Foi< 
judiciiil and taxation purposes it was attached to Valley County. But in 1881, 
it was a ]iart of the newly organized county of Wheeler, which had been established 
by the Legislature of 1877. In 1884, the actual division took place and Garfield 
County was separately organized. Burwell was proclaimed by the Governor as 
the first county seat — and at the election on December 30, 1884, there were three 
bitter contestants. Willow Springs, Burwell and Midvale. Midvale received the 
smallest number of votes, Willow Springs the highest, and another election was held 
on January 30, 1885, which resulted in Willow Springs leading by seven votes, but 
upon a recount in April, Burwell won by twenty-three votes and captured the prize. 
But a very interesting fight ensued for Willow Springs got the certificate of election. 
In 1887 the Burlington Railroad extended its grade to Burwell and on to Butka on 
the Calamus. The railroad never extended beyond Burwell, but that was the death 
blow to Willow Springs. So in an election in 1890 the county seat question was 
permanently settled in Burwell's favor. This county has several inland post- 
office points, namely: Easton, Erina, Gables, Rosevale, Deverre, Dumas, Blake and 
Ballagh, but bears the unique distinction among Nebraska counties (if having only 
one actually developed town, Burwell. Another distinction honic liy Burwell is 
that it was laid out with a public octagdu, with the side streets diverging from the 


rii part (if tlii' state, four tiers 

east of the western 

tier iK.rth of Kansas line. It i 

•ontains -KU square 

i |irriiKinent settlement in tlie 

(M.unty. in the fall 

aii.l left the Republiean and 

I'latte Valleys on 

re,.k. nr tc. Muddy. Elk or Tu 

rkev Creeks in the 


centers of the sides, instead of the ((ii-iici's uf the square. Then by a failure to 
jireserve the central octagon fur a ]iark. hiisiness houses have built u]) on it and 
disfigured it, so Burwell has a s(|uaiT willi business houses on Ijoth sides of the 
street, instead of a park or court house in the center, and the sii-cets meeting the 
BCjuare in the middle of the sides. 

(lospcr County is in tlu 
('(.lorado edge, and in tlie seccnd ti 
miles. Otto Renze made the lirs 
tif 1!S71. Others soon folhiwed 
either side, and came to Plum (' 
pouthem part. The organic elect icm was held, near the geographical center of 
tlie county, in May, 1873. The inunty was named Crosper in honor of John J. 
Gcsper, then Secretary of State. I)a\ics\ille. in the southwest part of the county 
was the early town, and county scat. I'lum Creek, Yaughan's and Judson's ranches 
secured postoffices and stores before 1880. These places have all disappeared from 
the modern map, and upon the advent of the Burlington line from Holdrege, 
Nebraska, to Sterling. Colorado. Sniithfield and Elwood. the latter now the county 
.seat of the cduuty. s)iiang up. (;iis|icr and Ceivl arc ikiw inland points. The 
activities of the cnunty. agi'iculturally. are a cduibinatiiin nf crop and stock raising. 
Much (if the trade of the southern sectidU (if the c.iunty g.ies to the Furnas County 
tdwns df lldlbnidk. .\rapahde. Ediscn and OxTdrd. wbich are nearer t.i sduthern 
(idsper Cduntv farms tlian EUv.mkI and Smithlield. 

This is the westerly of the four "sandhiH"" counties bordering vast Cherry County 
on the south. It has an area of 72(5 scpiare miles, but is almost entirely a ranch 
countiT, only valley lands in small tracts being cultivated to crops. Hyannis, the 
cdunty .-ieat. was laid out witli the arrival of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, 
then B. \- :\I. railniad line, thrdugh Udi'tliwestern Nebraska in 1S8,S. The first 
settler ua> .Idliii liellinger, wild tdok ilie Hat east of the ]uvseiit town. A Mr. 
White had the Hat west of tdwn shdrtly after this. W. :\I, Al.lcii. who be(\nme the 
tirst linsincss man m the town bad a pre-emptidn here m ISSS «hich he sold to the 
l.incdln 'i'dwusite Cdinpany. Mr. .Mden dpciied lii> st(.ire in .luly. 1888. Whitman 
was aiidlbci- tdwn which s,„,ii built up. after the settlements began. For a time, 
alidiit ISS^. this tdwii was ihe tei-iniiius it\' the raili-iiad. pending its further exten- 
sion. Even fur a hmg tune after thai, it luaintained its reputation of being a 
"real frontiei-"' tdwn with all (if the trimmings that the movies now love to portray 
as belonging Id cdwhovs. western •"uddlK'" \illages and rancli life, .-\shby is the 
main tdwn m ihe (.lunty Id the wcM cf livannis. and there are flag statidiis at 
Sand Cul and Duliith. liencwa. l.uckv and Klva are the .mly inland p.unts. 

Ci-ant Cduntv is the center df the caitl Ic-ranching indu.stry cf Central Xehra.<ka. 
livannis ships fnnn ."lOO in Clio loads of cattle a year, and Wbilniau practically 
c(pials (ir (iccasidiially excels this mark, and approximately T.'oo loads of cattle 
are sbiniied dut of tliis small cduntv annuallv. tlidu-b much df il cduics fnun the 


ranches to the north iu Clierry County, llyannis has ranked as the wealthiest 
town per capita in the United States, as this little town of less tlian 400 people has 
two banks \\-ith deposits in excess of $400,000 not considering the other banks 
in tlie county, but roughly estimating it, giving this town a bank deposit per capita 
of $1000 per person. Even allowing for the people concerned in this estimation 
who live outside of the town, or even county, contrasted with the $57 ])er capita 
for the United States, a per capita deposit of $600 per person for Grant County 
shows the status of this community and county. Before the separate organization 
of the founty, alxuit ISSS. it was a part of the Unorganized Territory, and of 
Big Sioux Cdviiity. 


Greeley County is situated in the sixth tier of counties west of tlie Missouri 
Eiver, in the central part of the state, north to south, containing 571 square miles 
in area. Its original settlement dates back to 1871, when S. C. Scott, A. Shepard 
and J. G. Kellogg, came from Illinois and located on Shepard Creek, on the north 
side of the Loup. Settlements followed on Fish Creek in November, 1871, Cedar 
Creek in 1872, Spring Creek in 1874, where a postoffice was established, but the 
first postoffice was established at Lamartine, on the Loup, in 1873, with Mr. A. 
Fish in charge. The county was organized on October 8, 1872, and the county 
seat located at an election in November, 1874, as at Scotia. The county was 
named after Horace Greeley. An Irish settlement was established near the center 
of the county in 1877, a town laid out, platted and named O'Connor, in honor 
of Bishop O'Connor, who was a nieuiher of the Catholic Colonization Association 
that fathered the colony. The Irish Catholic Association selected another site 
in the northeastern corner of the county, on the Cedar, and Spalding was opened 
up about 1881, when the first store was located. Forty years ago before any 
railroad had come into the county, the towns and postoffices were Scotia, O'Connor 
and Spalding, with I^amartine, Summit, Chase, Ellsworth, Floss, Leo Valley. 
When the L^nion Pacific branch from Grand Island to Ord was built, it touched at 
Scotia Junction, and land was given to the railroad on condition that it would 
run a sideline over to the town of Scotia and run all of its trains into Scotia, and all 
passenger and regular freight trains make that side-trip of a mile away from the 
direct line through the corner of the county. The Burlington built a branch in 1887 
through the county, from Aurora, on to Ord and Burwell, and on this line sprang 
up the towns of Wolbach, Brayton, Greeley Center, which later became the county 
seat of the county and the largest town in the county, and Horace. A brancli 
line of eighteen miles built about the same time, runs from Greeley Center 
through Belfast and Horace to Ericson, just across the line into Wheeler County. 
O'Connor and Parnell remain as the inland settlements of the county. This 
county has developed into a thriving and prosperous county, with a sluiwing of 
freight shipments, bank deposits, and such criterions that hold it up even Avith its 
neiijhborinff Loup Vallev counties. 

Upon the 4th of .Tuly, 1857, the little colony of thirty-live brave pioneers, from 
DavenjX)rt, Iowa, arrived at Cireat (or (irand) Island in the Platte, and about two 


and half miles below the site of the present city of Grand Island, and on the 
Platte banks founded the only white colony in the state, then west of Columbus, 
except the military reservations to the west, at Fort Kearney. This colony com- 
prised five Americans, E. C. Barnard a surveyor, and his brother Lorens Barnard 
of Washington, D. C, and Joshua Smith, David P. Morgan and William 
Seymour, of Davenport, and the following German- Americans, mainly from Holstein, 
Germany, originally; William Stolley, Fred Hedde, Christian Menke, William A. 
Hagge, and Henry Joehnch, the leading spirits among the band ; Kai Ewoldt, 
Anna Stehr, Henry Schoel and wife, Fred Doll and wife; George Shultz, Fred 
Yatje, Johann Hamann, Detlef Sass, Peter Stuhr, Hans Wrage, Xicholas and 
Cornelius Thodel, Henry Sehaaf, Matthias Gries, Fred Landniann, Herman 
A'asold, Theo. Xagel, Cliristian Andersen, wife and child of four years. The first 
settlement built up some business places, fortified itself well, and withstood the 
Indian scares of 1864: without leaving or losing any lives, though Indians com- 
mitted other depredations in this county, narrated more fully in the Indian 
section of this review. When the railroad came through in 1866. the present 
town of Grand Island was laid out, and business activities moved over. Here 
the county seat was formally established, though the county had been organized and 
functioning in its local government in a rather disjointed manner since 1858. 
The settlement in the west part of the county, at Wood River, moved over to the 
railroad in 1868, from that site two and half miles west of the present town 
where a depot and James Jackson's store were located, moved to the present 
location in 1874. Alda started soon after the railroad went through, being on 
the Union Pacific between Grand Island and Wood Eiver. Doniphan started on 
the St. Joe and Grand Island route in 1879. Cairo was located in 1886 when the 
Grand Island & Wyoming Eailroad, now the Burlington line, went through the 
northwestern part of the county. Former inland points in the county were Mar- 
tinville. Orchard, Cameron, Berwick, Spencer, Eundlett, and Runelsburgh. Now 
Cameron is practically the only inland center remaining. The industrial progress 
of Grand Island has been noted elsewhere, and that bespeaks the commercial 
growth of the county. 


Hamilton County is the first county east of Hall County and lies on the 
south side of the Platte Eiver. Its area is 538 square miles, ten square miles in 
excess of that of Hall. The first permanent settlements were made in 1866 by 
Jarvie Chafee and George Hicks. The famous Deep-Well ranch, thirteen miles 
west of the first ranch in the county, that of David Millspaw, established in 1861, 
followed the Millspaw ranch in 1862. These were famous stopping places along 
the "Old Mormon Trail" until permanent settlements came. The county was 
organized in 1870, by proclamation of Governor Butler, and its name had been 
given by legislative enactment. Orville City was located on the West Blue, 
surveyed and recorded in 1870 and selected at the election of 1871 as the county 
seat, which honor was wrested from it in 1876 by the town of Aurora, which had 
been established in 1872. Hamilton was established on the prairie in 1874. Other 
early settlements, at inland points, of course, were at Farmer's Valley, Mirimichi, 
\ViliiamsiM,rt, Lerton, Shiloh, Stockham. Buckeye, Cedar Valley, OtL-;, Avon, 


Leonard, Buuker Hill, Alvin, St. Joe, and Penn. Tlie Burlington road first 
built in from York, Seward and Lincoln and turned north from Aurora to 
Central City, and then in 1884, extended onward to Grand Island and Northwest. 
Hampton was platted in 1879, as the railroad came through to Aurora, b}^ Joshua 
Cox. The other railroad towns in Hamilton Count}- now are, Marquette to the 
north of Aurora, Murphy and Phillips to the west, Giltner to the southwest and 
Stockham in the southeastern corner of the county. 


This county is located on the middle, southern border of the state. As late 
as in the summer of 1869, Buck's surveying party were attacked in this particular 
territory and slain by Indians. The original settlers of this count}', about forty in 
number, arrived in what is now Harlan County, but was then part of Lincoln 
County in, 1870. Among these men were J. W. Foster, F. A. Bieyon, 
Gen. Victor Yifqnain, John Olson, Frank Hofnagle, Y. Toeppfner, S. Watton, 
Henry Melchert, N. Peterson, G. Hanson, J. B. Mitchell, Lewis Lorson, Geo. F. 
Jonas, Joseph and Lewis Hubner, and Andrew Rubin. Lots were cast for the 
selection of claims, and while not the first in order of choice, Yifquain and a few 
others slyly selected the old townsite of Napoleon, near Orleans. Yifquain, 
failing in the successful projection of the first "paper" town in Harlan County, 
returned to the eastern part of the state, and Judge William Gaslin later secured 
proprietorship of this townsite. In December, 1871, when Judge Gaslin returned 
to his homestead, from Omaha, he brought with him Warren M. Fletcher, who 
homesteaded the future site of Orleans. D. N. Smith, the noted townsite locator for 
the Burlington decided to locate a town in this vicinity and this site was chosen, 
and the town got started by 1872. The townsite of Alma was chosen in 1871 by 
Mark Coad, N. P. Cook and others, and named "Alma" after a' daughter of Mr. 
Cook. The first store was erected in 1872. After an election in July, 1871 for 
purpose of organizing the county, Alma was chosen as county seat. Another town. 
Republican City, was laid out in 1871. Melrose was really the first town in the 
county, having been planned in 1870 and secured a store early in 1871, but it 
never successfully flourished, after losing the county seat fight, first to Republican 
City, which in turn lost to Alma, and Orleans supplanting Melrose in a commer- 
cial way. Early inland points in the county were Graft, Bainbridge, Seandanavia, 
Grand Yiew, Spring Grove, Gai-ber and Pleasant Ridge. Spring Hill and Watson 
were formerly railroad stations. Stamford and Republican Junction have grown 
up in more modern times. A branch now runs from Orleans up to Holdrege, 
upon which Carter, Oxford Junction and Mascot are located. Another branch 
from Alma up to Minden has Huntley, Everson and Ragan. 


Hayes County is one county removed from the west, being east of Chase, and 
one county removed from the southern line of the state, being north of Hitchcock. 
It was given legislative organization in an Act of 1877 and named for the new 
President, Rutherford ' B. Hayes, but formed no actual county government for 
some years later, during which time it was for judicial and revenue purposes 


attached to Frontier C'oimty. The first postotTice, antedating any actual towns, 
were Carrico, F3stell, McNaughton, and Thornburg. The only railroad facilities 
the county now has, more than forty years later, in 1920, is the Imperial branch 
of the Burlington cutting across the southwest corner through the town of Hamlet. 
Palisade in Hitchcock County and Wauneta in Chase County are each barely across 
from the Hayes County line and iniiuence Hayes County trade considerably. Hayes 
Center, the county seat, is an inland town, started in the "80s. Other inland 
points in the county arc. Robert. Lucile. Kain, Strickland, ilarengo and Thonilnirg. 

This L-uunty is in the soutlnvesteni corner of the state just east of Dundy, and 
itself on the Kansas border. It wa.s (U'ganized in 1873, by proclamation of (iovernor 
Furnas, and named in honor of E.\-United States Senator Phineas W. Hitchcock, 
father of present United States Senator, Gilbert M. Hitchcock. It contains 72i 
square miles in area, two more than Hayes, its neighbor to the north. It was first 
settled by ranchmen in 18(_ili. but it was in 1873 that the first permanent settlers ar- 
rived, when G. C. Gessleman took a claim near the mouth of Blackwood Creek. A 
dozen or so other settlers came in May of that year. Nineteen votes were polled at the 
first election, on August 30, 1873, and Culbert.son was chosen as county seat. The of Culbrrtson was selerted in LS7;!. and survevfd in 187-") liy D. X. Smith. 
In the fall of 1S7:; took place in this county and near Culbertson the memoral)le 
battle in which the Sioux so decisively and destructively defeated the Pawnee. 
Following Culbertson, Stratton on the Burlington line and Palisade, as an iidand 
town sprang up. When the branch went from CuUiertson to Imiierial, Palisade 
became a railroad station and later Beverly moved up to the i-ailroad. But the 
greatest blow to Cidlicilson. was the location of Trenton, near the center of the 
county, on the Kurliii,i:1on line and its caiiture of the county seat. 

Holt County is on the northern edge of the state, with the Niobrara River as 
its northern border, and immediately west of Knox and Antelope counties. It is the 
fourth largest county in the state in area, only excelled by Cherry, Custer and Lin- 
coln, and has an area of 2,393 square miles, after losing Boyd County from its north 
section. The first settler in the county is reputed to have been Wm. H. Inman, 
who erected a house on the banks of the Elkhorn in 1872. In 1873 a good sprinkling 
of settlers came in, and an attempt for organization was made, and upon a showing 
of facts a proclamation secured from Governor Furnas, but in 1876, the permanent 
organization of the county was proclaimed by Governor Garber, and the first 
election held on Angnst 'if;. 1876. On May" 12, 1874, Gen. John O'Neill, in 
whose lioiior tlic town was named, with a colony of his countrymen arrived. In 
tin's party were Neil lirennaii. Patrick S. Hughes, Timothy O'Connor, Henry Curry, 
Thomas Connolley. Midiael 11. McGrath. Thomas N. J. Hynes, Michael Dempsey, 
Thomas Kelly, Robert Alwoitli. Ival])h Sullivan, Patrick Brennan, Thomas Cain, 
HeniT Carey and Patrick MeKiimcv. Others came soon, and in 1875, the general 
brought his second colony. Tlie lowiisite of O'Xeill, of 160 acres, was laid out 
and platted in :\lay. \SU. :iii,l another eighty acres platted in 1875 by General 


O'Neill. Thirteen men, two women and five children lived one season in a little 
sod house erected, and facetiously called the "Grand Central Hotel." In the first 
skirmish for the county seat, Paddock won. This settlement, on the Xiohrara, 
was started by Mr. Wm. T. Berry, in 1ST4. Its name was at first Troy. Imt clian.ucd 
to honor United States Senator A. S. Paddock. Atkinson, twenty miles from 
O'Neill was started in 1875. Upon resubmission in 1879, O'Neill won the county 
seat. When the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad, now the Northwestern system, 
was built through in 1879 and 1880, towns sprang up along its line. The early 
railroad stations were, Ewing, Inmaii, O'Neill, Emmet, Atkinson, and Stuart, all 
thriving now, forty years later. Since then, Stafford appeared on the railroad near 
where old Hart was. Chambers, an inland town in the south part of the county, 
while a long distance from a railroad, is considered one of the greatest hay-pro- 
ducing and shipping points in the country, and were it on a railroad would produce 
a wonderful traffic. In Ifl'.'O. under the recent Federal Transportation Act of 
1920, an effort is being made to secure an extension of the Greeley-Eric.^on branch 
of the Burlington to Chambers. Some inland towns or trading or postal points 
of forty years ago are still actively on the map of Holt County. Among these are 
Deloit, Little, Swan Lake, or Swan, but the majority are no longer active. Many 
of those which seem to have passed from the scene were Cache Creek, Lambert, 
Brewer, Apple Creek, Mineola, Hainesville, Turner, Blackbird, Clifton Grove, 
Greeley, Saratoga, Cleveland, Menla, Laura, Grand Rapids. But Holt County, 
even now in 1920 has many inland points, among which are Tonic, Bliss, Amelia, 
Martha. Harold, Inez, Middlebranch, Tonawanda, Sloeum, Agee, Staro, Dorsey, 
Scottville, Redbird, Meek, Leonie, Joy, Ray, Phenix, Badger, Dustin, Celia, Catalpa, 
Scottville and Paddock still located near the Niobrara. Page and Emporia sprang 
up as stations on the Burlington-Sioux City-O'Neill branch as it comes into the 
eastern part of the county. 


This county is one of the sandhill counties bordering on the south edge of 
Cherry County. Before^the advent of the Burlington line to Wyoming and Billings, 
Montana, it was a part of the great Unorganized Territory, or Big Sioux County. 
Its organization finally took place about 1889. Forty-five years ago there were 
no settlements in this county. It has only built up four stations along tlie Burling- 
ton line, its only raili-oad. The main town, as well as being county seat, is Mullen, 
'i'his has developed into a tlirixing town, being the greatest shipping center along 
the Burlington between Hyannis and Broken Bow. The other towns on the rail- 
road are Weir, Hecla, and Kelso. The inland points in the southern portion of 
the countv. over toward the Dismal River, are Eclipse. Moore Dunwell, Donald 
and Summit. 

IlowanI County is .-ituatrd m tlie fertile Lmip \'alley. first county north of 
Hall. It contains an area of .")61 square miles. James N. Paul, who was then 
purveying, and for several years had been in company with Major Frank North, 
and who for sixteen years, from 1901 to 1917. was District Judge in the Central 
and Western Nebraska Eleventh .ludicinl District, discovered the site of St. Paul. 


'J'hi.s was in 1870 when he made tlie observation that it was a good site for a 
luwii. in December, 1870, his brother, X. J. Paul and the Danish vice-consnl, 
Mr. Moeller visited this valley, and started a party up there on January 9, 1871. 
The point selected was the junction of the Xorth and South Loup rivers, and near 
this point, the town of St. Paul, named after the Paul family, sprang up. An 
Act of the Legislature in 1871 formed the establisliniciit nf Howard and Boone 
counties. The first homestead claim in the county \v:i> takm liy J. E. f'ady on 
]March 11, 1871. In May, 1871, the county seat was located at the proposed site 
of St. Paul. There had been a Danish settlement made near Oak Creek, and in 
the fall of 1871, C. 0. Schlytern bought several sections of laud from the Union 
Pacific Paili-oad and made prc])aratirins tn start the town of Dannebrog, and the 
town was really laid out in 1873. A ]K)stoffice was staitcd tliat year at Warsaw. 
St. Lihory is a small station and town that built up on the Union Pacific road 
midway between St. Paul and Grand Island. Other points in the county before 
the railroad extended north from St. Paul were Lou]) Fork and Kelso in the 
southwest comer : Wola. Daiincvirkc and Cotesfielil in the northwest coi'ncr : Fair- 
dale. Gla.^gow in the northeast and (ia.uv \'alley in the east central. When the 
Union Pacific extended its line to Xorth Loup and then to Ord, Cotesfield became 
a railroad station, and Elba sprang up. The branches built by the Burlington and 
Union Pacific from St. Paul to Loup City gave railroad facilities to Dannebrog. 
Xysted, Kenyon Spur and Boelus, the latter a town which had become noted for 
tlie power plant ])rojected there on the Loup River, which furnishes electric power 
for many towns, and to the nortli to A\'arsaw and Fai-wcll. The line from Palmer 
to Greeley tomhi's Cushiug. a town in the northeast r(ji'ncr of the county. 


Jefferson County was mapped out by the Territorial' Legislature, January 26, 
1856, under the name of Jones County. At the same time, the adjoining county 
on the west, now Thayer County, received the name of Jefferson. Jefferson made 
its formal organization in 186-1 with its first election at Big Sandy. February 18. 
1867, "an Act to enlarge Jefferson County" passed the Legislature which united 
Jones to Jefferson. This gave the county an acreage of 706,560 which the Legis- 
lature of 1871 considered too large and it decreed division. The former Jones 
County in the divorcenuMit retained the name of Jefferson, and incidentally the 
county iccoiils, while the former Jefferson assumed the name of Nebraska's states- 
man, \\lio wa> both rnitcil States Senator and Governor, Thayer. From 1857 to 
1S64 .IflVcison had hccn attached to (Jage County for judicial and revenue pur- 
}ioses. The Olor Indian Reservation for awhile cut off twenty-four square miles 
from the southeast corner, but that was about the first reservation land sold. The 
county as finally defined contains 578 square miles. Its original settlenuuit dates 
back to 1851 when Jack Xye settled in this county, for a residence that proved 
brief, as did those attcmptr.l in lS.-,5-(;. Settlements from then until 1S60 were 
spasmodic and some of them short-1 i\C(l. In ISCt when the county began its 
actual organization, thnv wrvr onlv ihiiiy-livc settlei's established therein. Fair- 
bury, the count) scat, was lanl out in ISC'.i ami its estahlisliment more fully treated 
in the town -cinm of this woik. Slc.-lc City was laid out in 1873 by Mr. D. M. 
Baker ami 1{ tI Ciinklow ami namr.l in honor of I ». M. Steele, "lU-'-sident of 


the St. Joe & Western Railway. Endicott, at the crossing of the Burlington and 
St. Joe lines, was laid out in 1881. The advent of Reynolds was the fall of the 
raih'oadless Rose Creek which had been established in 1863. In 1881 when the 
Burlington line passed about a mile from it, the new town of Reynolds sprang 
up. Diller, on the B. & M., was laid out in ISSl on the Otoe Reservation lands, 
and named for one of the earliest settlers in the county, H. H. Diller. ileridian 
was commenced in 1865 but was irretrievably injured in 1873 by the St. Joe & 
Western passing two miles from it. Plymouth was started before the railroad 
arrived. Rock Creek, Georgetown, Bower, JcllVi'scui. Little Samly mid East Mer- 
idian were towns forty years ago, but withimt railroads. X(i\\, the St. Joe and 
Grand Island, successor to the Old St. Joe & Western has Steele City, Endicott, 
Fairbury, K. C. & 0. Junction and Powel. The Rock Island main line from Chicago 
to Denver passing through Fairbury also touches Plymouth, Jansen. ami Thompson. 
The B. & M. into Fairbury also touches Helvey and Daykin. A C. B. & Q. 
branch across the southern edge of the county has as stations Reynolds, Kestcrson, 
Endicott, Shea and Diller. Rower is left without a railroad. 

This county located directly west of Nemaha, tiie only I'ounty between it and 
the Missouri River and north of Pawnee, the only county between it and the Kansas 
line. It was named in honor of Gen. R. M. Johnson, of the United States Army, 
and was created by an Act of the first Territorial Legislature, March 3, 18.55, 
and fonnally organized in the fall n{ is.")!;. The first permanent settlers, James 
Riggles and Isaac Irwin, both nativt-s of Indiana, settled three miles 
of Tecumseh, early in the sjiring of 1856. 'J'hey were soon followed by a goodly 
list of brave pioneers. The county seat was located at Tecumseh, February 13, 
1857. The town of Tecumseh, in the central part of the county, was first located 
and surveyed in 1856, and christened "Frances" after the wife of Gen. R. M. 
Johnson, but later changed to Tecumseh, the name of the famous Indian warrior, 
who is supposed to have been killed in battle by General Johnson. Twelve miles 
northwest of Tecumseh, the town of Sterling was laid out and platted in 1870 after 
the survey of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad. Elk Creek, on the same line, 
was surveyed in 1873. Sinartville was another early station on this line. Helena, 
an early town in the c(mnty. laid out in 1867, was left deserted in a few years 
after the railroad missed it by six miles. Inland points in the county forty years 
ago were Crab Orchard and Yesta, which the railroad, C. B. & Q. line, reached 
in time and are still flourishing. This line later brought Graf into existence. 
A line of the ^lissoui'i Pacific cutting across the nortlieast corner of the county 
caused the town of Cook to come to life. Spring Creek, and Latrobe were formerly 
thriving postoffices. 

ki:arney county 

Kearney Connty is ,,ne .cunty reni(.v,..l from the Kan>a> line, with Franklin 
to the south, and the J'hitte Hivcr to the north side. It has an area of .-.Hi s,|uare 
miles. It can date its active history back farther than any other central or 
western Nebraska County, starting with the establishment of Old Fort Kearney, 
within its borders, when tliat post was transferred from the site of future Nebraska 

122 IIIS'I'()|;Y of xebhaska 

City to tlic troulilesome scenes of tlie Platte Eiver banks. A fort on the Xebraska 
section of the Overland trail was considered necessary, and thus Kearney County 
antedates its neighbors by a good margin. This fort has an interesting history. 
After examining sites near Aurora, and Lone Tree, later Central City, in Merrick 
County, and selecting the site the first fort was built on in this county, and having 
it flooded, another site was chosen and the post, at first called Fort Childs, in honor 
of Captain Childs, the commanding and locating officer. His successor, in Febru- 
ary, 1849, was Major Eupp. Succeeding commanders were Colonel Chittenden, 
by which time the fort was called Fort Kearney "Oregon Trail" and by ISoi 
as '"Fort Kearney, Xebraska Territory"; Phil Kearny, for whom it took its final 
name, and then General Harney commanded. Then came Major Morris, Colonel 
May. Captain McGowan, Colonel Bachus, Colonel Miles, then Colonel Alexander, 
Captain Fisher, Colonel Wood, Colonel Livingstone, then Colonel Wood again. 
Colonel Carington, then the First Nebraska troops under Colonel Baumer, then 
Maj. T. J. Majors, later contingent congressman-elect. Then as subsequent com- 
manders. Captain Ladd, General Wessels, Lieutenant Dibble, Major Dallas, General 
Gibbon, Lieutenant Foulk, Colonel Eansoni. Majoi- Sinclair, Captain Fenton, an<l 
Captain Pollack, wlio \\;is in coniiiiaiid (if tlic ]»»t when it was abandoned in 1871. 
Central City, about two mile,- Iroin tlic tort, was iHdjcctcd in 1858, by speculators 
from St. Joseph. Mn. Al...m the same time. D.ict.u- liansom. Dr. C. A. Henry, 
John Ynuiig. .1. K. I'xiyd. Luraii MiMer aini ntheis. trom Onuiha, laid out Kearney 
City. Tn ISCiO this plaie was desienated as county seat. It so flourished that at 
one caily elccticn it last .'imi votes. \'alley City was another early town in 
this comity, but it did imt last. a> neither ilid .lackMiiivillc. Centoria was another 
dream citv of this county, missed by the railroad and disappeared, and Mirage proved 
true to its name. Eaton, Osco and Fredericksburg did not survive all these years. 
Keene, there forty years or so a,t;o, was reached by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
in tiiiie. sn it is still flniuisliiiig. Ileartwell has IniiU ii|i on this same line, that 
incidentally runs tlinju.uh Miiideii. Lowell, mi the lla>tings-Kearney branch of 
the Burlington, was laid out in 1ST2, and has been a famous town in central 
Xebraska. It is another of the children of D. X. Smith's locating and promoting 
abilities. Its Ignited States land office was removed to Bloomington, and in 1874 
it started a decline almost as rapid as its sensational rise. Its final blow was 
struck in 1878 when ilinden was projected, and this town soon took the county 
seat, and has made an excellent little city. Xewark was settled in 1878, is first 
station west of Lowell and near the old fort. It is still a good town. Minden is on 
the Burlington main line, from Hastings to Holdrege, and so is Axtell, another good 
town, built up after Minden started. Another later town is Wilcox in the very 
southwest corner of the county. 


Keith County lies in the western part id' the state, just west of Lincoln County, 
and cast of J)euel County. It has an area of i.iKiS si|uare miles. The first 
permanent settlements accompanied the building of the Union Pacific main line 
through the county in 1867. It had a prolific Indian history during that period and 
on into the early ■70s. It was organized in 1873. Its county seat. Ogallala. for a 
long time the tuily town in the county, beeauie fammis as a cattle center. This 


point became the headquarters for an immense cattle trade and vast herds from 
Texas were brought up here for pasture purposes and distribution to ranches. 
Allcali, Eoscoe and Brule are railroad stations that developed along about the '70s. 
Paxton, Korty and Piano later develii|ii(l alunu- the Union Pacific line. When the 
Union Pacific built its branch up to S(>liliilV country a group of Keith County 
towns sprang up, including Sarben, Xcvcns, Ivcystone, Martin, Lemoyne, Belmar and 
Ruthton. Those towns do not depend on Keith County alone for trading support, 
but govern much of McPherson and Arthur county trade to the north. A few 
inland settlements along the north edge of the county on the very southern edge of 
the ''sandhills" are Spear, on the Lincoln County line, Orin, Glenrose, Triangle, 
Bertha, and Rice. 


This county lies along the Xiobrara River, on the northern boundary of the 
state. It has an area of 775 square miles, and lies north of Brown and Rock 
counties. It is an inland county, separated by the Xiobrara River from Brown 
and Rock counties, and without railroad facilities. It was taken off from Brown 
County in 1884, right after the organization of Brown County. Its county seat 
is Springview, and a few other postoffices and small trading centers have developed, 
including Xorden, Marleank, Enterprise, Cams, Pinecamp, Simpson, Mills, Brocks- 
burg and Jamison. Its earlier history is merged into that of Brown County, the 
predecessor of Sioux, and as a part of the great unorganized territory. 


The separate history of Kimball County as a county begins perhaps with its 
organization, following its separation from the mother county, Cheyenne, after 
the election of November 6, 1888. Antelopeville, which was the original name of the 
town of Kimball, flourished soon after the Union Pacific Railroad went through, in 
the late '60s. Adams and Bushnell came in early. Jacinto, Dix, Owasco, Kimball, 
Oliver, Bushnell and Smeed are now the stations along the Union Pacific line 
through tliis county. Troy, Beacon, Hodges, Bethel, Gifford, and Dye are inland 

This is the very soutliwest corner county, in the Panhandle section of the state. 
Pinebluffs, Wyoming, is just across the state-county line. In the early history of 
Kimball County, John T. Clarkson purchased practically all of the lands from the 
Union Pacific Railroad on the south side, and Bay State Live Stock Co., the land 
on the north. In the middle '80s, settlers began to come in and on the second 
wave of settlement of the county, the agricultural period set in. By 1888, when 
the county was separated Antelopeville revived, its name was changed to Kimball, 
in honor of an officer of the L'nion Pacific, and it has steadily developed into as 
substantial a town of its size as can be found anywhere. 


This county is on the northern border of the state, the fourth county from the 
east end, and first county east of Holt, and has an area of 1,114 square miles. It 
was organized by the Territorial J^egislature in 1857, under the name of L'Eau-qui- 


Court, the French name I'nr Xcln-M-^k.-i Jiiver. In IStiT its iiainc wns r-hanffc<l to 
Emmett, and in 1873 to Kikix. 

June "t, 1856, Dr. B. Y. Shelley and K. E. Cowan came to the present site 
of Niobrara and located a town. A town company, called the L"Eau-qui-Court 
Company, erected some houses and built a fort for the protection of the settlers. 
Indian annoyances and depredations were very frequent and troublesome during 
the late "oOs. The first company failed, and in 1860, the Niobrara Company took 
the helm. Three other settlements were formed in this county very early. Frank- 
fort settled in 1856 by S. Loeber, and the town laid out in 1857. Breckenridge. 
later the Santee i\.gency, was located in 1857 and the Eunning Water settlement 
was laid out in 1958. Later the Santee Indians broke up this settlement, and in 
1870 Pishelville was started by a Chicago colony in this vicinity. Immigration 
in substantial numbers did not come to this county until after 1869 or 1870. 
Indian depredations again became so troublesome in 1871 that help was sent from 
Fort Eaudall on the Missouri Eiver to protect the settlers. The Santee Indian 
reservation of 115,200 was placed in tiie nortliern part of this county, bordering 
on the Missouri Eiver. 

In the early '70s a new crop of towns started up in this county. Creighton 
was promoted in 1871. first by the "Bruce Colony," organized in Omaha. The 
first house and first store were erected by J. A. Bruce, an officer of this company. 
Samuel D. Brooks located tiie first claim where Bazile Mills sprang up shortly 
after, hut the town was laid out in 1878. The postoffice at Millersboro was estab- 
lished in 1874. In the early '80s only Creighton and Bazile Mills were railroad 
towns, and the other towns named were inland points. Verdigris Bridge was a 
postoffice located on the creek of that name, about 1879, though settlement had 
been made there three years before; Welsh postoffice came from a settlement made 
in 1870; Kemma was established as a postoffice in 1875; Knoxville was established 
as a postoffice June 20, 1879, twenty-four miles southwest of Niobrara ; Sparta 
postoffice was opened in 1880, about twelve miles south of Niobrara; Armstrong, 
twelve miles from Niobrara and three miles from that river was settled by Bohemians 
in 1871, and the postoffice established July 1, 1880, named after an early settler of 
that vicinity, J. L. Armstrong, upon suggestion of E. K. Valentine. Venus post- 
office was established August 9, 1880, in the southwest corner of the county; Wal- 
nut Grove in the western part of the county was established on December 1, 1875; 
Blyville, established in 1873 in the northeast part of the county, was named after 
George W. Bly, one of the old settlers of that vicinity. Plum Valley was settled 
in 1875 and established as a postoffice in 1878; located on Bazile Creek in the center 
part of the county; Eeidsville, about six miles northwest of Creighton, was estab- 
lisiied as a jiostoffice in 1875; Dukeville, fourteen miles west of Niobrara on that 
river, was established as a postoffice in 1876 ; Verdigris Valley postoffice was estab- 
lished in 1876 ; Middle Branch in 1880. Other early postoffices established were 
Sweden, in 1883 : Anawan in 1882 ; and Herrick, Secret Grove, Millerboro, 
and riuni X'alley. The extension of the Northwestern line to Winner, S. D., 
allowed other Knux County towns to gain railroad facilities, among these being 
Winnotoon, X'erdigris, Niobrara and \'erdel. In the southeastern corner the Chicago, 
St. Paul. Minneapolis & Omaha branch comes through Wausa and up to Bloom- 
field. Center, the county seat of the county now, is an inland town. Other inland 
towns are \'enus, Mars, ilillerboro. Ba/ile Mills, a niilo or two otT the track now: 


Morrillville. Sparta, Addison, Weij^and. Santee, Pishelville, Knox, \Vat.~on, Diike- 
ville, Armstrong, Walnut, HiTrick and Le Blanc. 


This is the second county in the state in general importance and ]ioinilation, 
ranking next to Douglas. It contains as its county seat, the capital city, Lincoln. 
It was organized in the fall of 1859, and previous to that had been attached for 
revenue, judicial and election purposes. It is located in the southeastern part of the 
state, with only Cass County between it and the Missouri River and only (iage 
between it and the Kansas line. The first permanent settlers are reputed to havo 
been John D. Prey and his sons, John W. David, and William, with his wilr mid 
daughter, who, early in 1857, located at Olathe, on Salt Creek, alioiit til'tceii miles 
south of Lincoln. Several pioneers had penetrated the borders of this county in 
1856, but no permanent settlement was made until the nest year. The settlement 
of the county from 1859 to 1863 was very slow. The records of the elections of 
1860-1-2 show no apparent increase in numbers. But after homesteading opened 
up in January, 1863, the settlement started with a rush. In the summer of 1863, 
Elder J. M. Young and others, representing a colony, selected a townsite which 
embraced the old town of Lancaster, then destitute of inhabitants and belonging to 
the Government. In the Indian .scare of 1864r, many settlers left. In 1865, 
Ezra Tuttle, lawyer, settled on Oak Creek and in 1866, S. B. Galey and S. B. 
Pound, settled at Lancaster. From the discovery of the salt basins, near Lincoln, 
in 1856 by government surveyors, they attracted much attention. Capt. W. T. 
Donavan, in 1857, representing the "Crescent Company," organized at Flattsmouth, 
pitched his tent there, but both Donavan and representatives of another company 
soon abandoned the enterprise. In 1862, John S. Gregory, Jr., laid siege to the 
basin, and a couple years later had some vats ei'ected and enough salt made to supply 
the settlers and overland travel. A postoffice, called "Gregory's Basin,'' started 
there in 1863. Meanwhile J. Sterling Morton and Colonel Manners, one of the 
original discovering surveyors had been getting claims to this region. Soon aft^r 
the state was organized under its state government, the governor leased the 
big basin for twenty years to A. C. Tichenor and J. T. Green, and they expended 
about twelve thousand dollars on it. Then Messrs. Morton and Manners got their 
claim into the courts by writ of ejection, and stopped the work. After years of 
litigation, the state made good its claim to the land, and her title was made perfect 
by a decision of the United States Supreme Court in 1875. From 1874 to 1884 
Charles T. Bullock maintained the plant with very slight success. In 1885 Jesse 
T. Green attempted to revive the works, and various attempts were made after that. 
In 1916, the Traction Company at Lincoln leased the site for a pleasure resort, 
intending to build up a resort, Capital Beach, which had already been started there 
on a rather extensive scale. In recent years, considerable sand and gravel have 
been taken from this locality. The question of the state reserving saline deposits 
is by no means dead, and was submitted in the new constitution voted upon 
September 21, 1920. The establishment of Lincoln has been detailed in 
another chapter, on location of towns; John S. Green, the first settler 
at Waverly located there in 1869 and the town was started in 1871 
with a postoffice, the first store being erected there in 1874. Firth was organized 


as a village in 18?9, named after Supci-intendent Firth of the Att-hison & Xei)raska 
Railroad, on which line it was located ; Roca, "founded on a rock" 
as its name indicates, was started abont that time, on the same railroad line 
and in its early days developed extensive quarrying interests. Hickman and 
Saltilld were started early on that same line. Havelock, the location of the largest 
Burliii-ii'ii ,-li(i|i> (in the w-estern end of that great system, was started in 1891, 
tlioui:h -ritl.'iiiciits had been made in that vicinity before then, by Charles A. 
Ho](lciiM'». liniMing the first house in the town. It was incorporated on ilay 6, 
LS93. The railroad station from Dnitdii liad been moved ovei-. ami the shops 
planned here by 1890. University I'laee started in ISS',). syin.iiyinous with the 
location of Nebraska Wesleyan University there. Bethany and Cotner University 
started together in 1888. These last three towns are suburbs of the City of Lincoln 
now, all within six miles of the business section of that city. In 1889, the educa- 
tional institution of the Seventh Day Adventists for a great many states was 
located at a site that developed into another suburb of Lincoln, so Union College 
and College View grew up together. This suburb also has a famous sanitarium 
built up by the same people, and an international branch of the Pacific Press 
Publishing Association under similar auspices. At the time the Midland Pacific 
Railroad came through, a town was laid out in 1871 and named Bennett, in honor 
of one of the officers of that road, John Bennett. Hickman, heretofore mentioned, 
was platted in 1872. Cheney was platted in 1874; and other towns which sprang 
up in this county were platted or started in the following years; Davey, 1886; 
Denton, 1871; Hallam, 1893; Holland, about 1886; Kramer, in March, 1888; 
Malcolm, October 13, 1877; Emerald; Martel, more recently Panama, located in 
the late -'70s; Prairie Home, 1891; Pi-inceton, July 8, 1886; Raymond, laid out 
by T. P. and Lioina E. Kennard, and plat filed on April 19, 1880; Saltillo, laid 
out in September, 1872; Sprague, plat recorded May 3, 1888; Agnew, 1889 ; Walton, 
later; Jamaica, in 1885; Woodlawn, plat filed March 29, 1878. Other stations 
in the county, some of which have no postoffice nor trading center of consequence 
left any longer, are Arbor, Berks, Burnham, Cobb, Hawthorne, Pella. Rokeby, 
Carleton, Hanlon. Older points that have practically disappeared from active 
participation in the county's affairs were: Buda, Olive Branch, Centerville, Loyal 
Hill, Crounse, Millville, Stevens postoffice, Newton, and Camp Creek. Enough 
important events in Lancaster County's hi.story have been omitted in this short 
sketch to fill a separate volume, but as with Douglas, and some other important 
counties, many of these things will appear in the surveys of other subjects and 
phases of Nebraska's growth. 


Lineolji County is located in the western jiart of the state, practically 'MM 
miles west of Onuilia. and has an area of 2.."i:it; siiuare miles, being excelled in 
size only by Cherry and Custei-. The lirst luiilding in the county was probably 
erected by a Freneliman in is 11, l.ut was nban<lone(i in 18-18, after four years" 
use as a trading ranch. In 18.")-.', a man named Brady settled on the south side 
of the island bearing his name, and be is supposed to have been killed by Indians 
in tHe following year. In 1858. the tirsi |icnnanent settlement of' the county was 
made at Cottonwood Siirings. and a liuilding erected that fall by lioyer I'c Robideay. 


with I. P. Boj-er in charge. Located at a spring, surrounded by big Cottonwood 
trees, it received that name. In the same year, another trading ranch sprang np 
at O'Fallon's Bluff, on the south side of the river and some miles above the town 
of O'Fallons. Fort McPherson was established in 1863 by the Government at 
tliis Cottonwood Springs settlement. And it was placed there none too soon, for 
the Indian troubles of 1864 came right on. The county was first organized in 
November, 1860, with Cottonwood Springs as the county seat, and its first name 
"Shorter" was soon changed to Lincoln. During Kovember, 1866, the Union Pacific 
Eailroad was completed to North Platte, and that town was laid out by Gen. G. M. 
Dodge for the railroad company. It grew so rapidly, that it was made a military 
post and a garrison placed there. Machine shops and roundhouses were started 
there in 186'('. In 1872, the Grand Duke Alexis came to N"orth Platte and from 
there started out on an extensive buffalo hunt, and a very successful venture it was, 
with Buffalo Bill acting as guide. Other stations laid out along the Union Pacific 
in the first fifteen years after its arrival in 1867 were: Warren, at the east county 
line; Brady Island; Maxwell, at first McPherson Postoffice; just northwest of old 
( 'ottonwood Springs and north across the Platte Eiver from the old Fort McPherson 
military reservation; Gannett, and Nichols, with, of course. North Platte and 
O'Fallons already mentioned. Gasline, Peekham and Fox Creek were about the 
only inland points forty years ago. Now the Burlington line through the southern 
part of the county has developed several stations, Ingham, Wellfleet, Somerset, 
Dickens, and Wallace. Additional stations built up along the Union Pacific in recent 
decades are Vroman, Hindrey, Keith, Pallas, Birdwood, Hershey, a very prosperous 
little town, an active candidate in substantial anticipation of a beet sugar factory 
within the next few years; Sutherland, Glenburne, and more modern inland points 
are Denmark, Arna, Kilmer, Myrtle, and Willard. 


Logan County took separate shape out of the great unorganized portion of the 
southern sandhills, attached for all commercial and practical purposes to Lincoln 
County for many years, along about 1885. Arnold, an inland village in the 
very western edge of Custer County was the only settlement in that region for 
many years. Not until 1911, did Logan County get a railroad, and then its most 
metropolitan town, Stapleton, promoted by the railroad, sprang up like a mushroom. 
But an inland town, about two miles away, and left a mile or mile and half off the 
railroad, Gandy, had developed many years before and captured the county seat 
upon the real organization of the county, and has so far held it against the strenuous 
efforts of Stapleton. Logan is the only other railroad station in the county, though 
Gandy now has a depot and busses meet the trains. Kirsch, Ford and Wagner are 
inland ]t<)ints. The county is ty]ucally a sandhill county. It has .573 square miles 

This county lies north of Custer County, and is in the "Saudliiir" region, and 
a typically sandhill county. Loup County was settled in 187-1. The first settlers 
to trail the Loup beyond the neighboring Garfield County settlements were Rodney 
P. Alger, John R. Goff, D. L. Bowen, B. J. Harvey, A. M. Gurnsey and Wm. 


Burns and their families. In the spring of 1875 an Indian scare ensued, and a 
stockade was erected on the Alger farm and called "Fort Rodn£y." Fort Hartsutf 
over in Garfield County soon quieted the settlers through the fear it gave the 
Indians and the security it gave the settlers. In the winter of 1876-77, A. M. 
Gurnsey succeeded in getting a postoffice established which was named Kent. 
Grand Island, about one hundred miles to the south, was in those days the nearest 
railroad connection. The first general store was opened at Kent in 1880 and 
everything hauled from St. Paul, then the terminus of the Union Pacific. Up to 
this time, Loup City was part of the unorganized country, and in 1883 an organiza- 
tion was effected. Kent, in the very southeast corner of the county, lay too far 
east to land the county seat, but Taylor postoffice, Almeria and Clark's Point 
eagerly sought the plum. Xone of these places had been platted, but all figured 
they only needed to land the county seat and the town would spring up. Taylor 
won out by only two votes over Almeria, and this practically meant the finish of 
Kent. Taylor was staked off on a farm belonging to and adjoining the homestead 
of Joseph Eusho. Almeria, where G. W. Sthrol and Fred Hoellworth opened 
a store managed to hold her own, and is now a small settlement, with nothing 
much more than a .store and garage. Kent dwindled away until it has practically 
disappeared. The county is not touched by any railroad line and all of the settle- 
ments are inland points. Cooleyton, Moulton, Ferguson, Calamus, and Gracie are 
other points in this county in recent years. 


This county like its neighbor to the east, Logan, is a typically sandhill county, 
and until its organization was provided for in 1887 was a part of a great unor- 
ganized sandhill country, but for all practical purposes, an annex to Lincoln County. 
It has an area of 863 square miles, and is an inland county. It lies between the 
Burlington line, that goes through Mullen, and the Union Pacific through Lincoln 
County, but the main source of supply is North Platte and other Lincoln County 
towns. Its county seat is a small town, Tryon, and other points in the county 
are Mayflower, Yalyrang, Lilac, Omega, Einggold, Xesbit, Brighton, and Ney. 
Arthur County was separated in 1913 and took away the west end of McPherson 
I'ounty. Its activities are ranching and some small crop raising in the valleys and 
extensive hay raising. 


This loiiiitv of "iTi; s(|uarc miles in area, is the fourth county west of the 
Missouri K'iver and third county south of northern boundary of the state. The first 
settlers, Herman Braasch and Frederick Wagner, from Jeiferson County, Wisconsin, 
came on September 15, 1865. Upon their recommendation twenty-four families 
started from the Wisconsin home, and arrived at the present site of Xorfolk in 
.hilv. iscd. The county was organized in December, 1867, but the initial ielection 
was in .hiiniary, 1.S68. The pioneer towns of the county, of which the establishment 
and growth of Norfolk, the metropolis of the county, has elsewhere been treated, in 
the years of their location or platting were, Norfolk, incorporated in 1881, but its 
postoffice was first estalilished in 1869. Madison was settled in 1868, established 
as a i)ostotlii-e in ISTl, and made the countv seat in I8T.1, and still holds that honor. 


despite the Iiunger Xorfolk has displayed for this plum. Battle Creek was estab- 
lished in 1884; Blakeley postoffice, in 1880; Warren postoffice is in the northwest 
part of the county ; Emerick postoffice near the head of Battle Creek in the western 
part of the county was established in 1873; Newman Grove is in the extreme south- 
western part of the county, and although settled sometime before, was established 
as a postoffice in 1874; Munson, Clarion, Kalamazoo, Gates, Blakeley, Dry Creek, 
and Deer Creek were other early points in this county. 

The railroad stations in 1920 in this county are: Chicago & Northwestern 
branch from Norfolk north, Norfolk and Xm-folk Junction; Union Pacific from 
Columbus tolNorfolk; Madison, Enohi, Wiuiicrvillr and Norfolk; Newman Grove 
on a Northwestern branch; on the Northwestern main line, Norfolk, Norfolk 
Junction, Kent Siding, Battle Creek, Meadow Grove and Tilden. Emorick and 
Kalamazoo are the principal inland points left in this county. 


This county lies on tiie Platte Eiver, the fifth tier west of the Missouri River, 
and has 463 square miles in area. A stage station was established at Lone Tree 
station by the Western Stage Company in 1858. The lone tree from which this 
name was derived was a large cottonwood tree, a lone patriarch on the prairie and 
a welcome sight to tourist, trapper or traveler, but in 1865 in a wind storm one 
day it fell to the ground. James Yieregg made the first settlement in the county 
on September 15, 1860. The first building in Chapman was erected by Eeed and 
Leake in 1871. The postoffice was opened soon after the railroad passed through. 
Clarks, named in honor of S. H. H. Clark, superintendent of the Union Pacific, was 
platted in 1866. Silver Creek was also platted in 1866, and the first building after 
the section house built in 1870. In 1875, the name of Central City was prefixed 
to what had been known as Lone Tree station. Cherry Hill and Lockwood were 
other early railroad stations. Early inland points were Conrad, Prairie Creek, 
Farmersville, Bethel, Merrick, Burlingame, Mentzel, and Bryant's Grove. Paddock, 
Thummel and Havens are more modern stations on the Union Pacific main line. 
Archer and the thriving town of Palmer are on the Burlington branch north from 
Central City to St. Paul and Greeley, Palmer being the junction point at which this 
branch forks into two others. Sunrise is an inland point on northern edge of the 


This county with some 1,417 square miles in area, was cut off from Cheyenne 
County in 1908. Its earlier history is mainly a part of the big mother county's 
story. It was named for Charles H. Morrill, who had contributed so much to the 
support of agricultural growth of this state. The main town for many years and 
county seat, Bridgeport, started in 1899, when the Burlington line from Alliance 
to Sidney and Denver went through. It rapidly developed into a town of importance. 
The town of Bayard first flourished on the old location, settled by W. P. Devault, 
who laid it out with E. M. Stearns of Loup City and a neighbor, Wm. Peters. 
A small community grew up, even though it was fifty miles from the nearest rail- 
road. In 1898, Gering, Bayard and Oshkosh were the only places claiming the 
distinction of being towns in the whole North Platte Valley. When the Alliance- 


Guernsey branch, turning westward at Xorthport. came up tlie valley in 1900, the 
town was moved bodily over to a new location on the railroad line. The incorpora- 
tion of the new town was had in November, 1900. The county was formed separately 
in 1909, after the authorizing election in 1908. Other towns, stations and postofEces 
which have sprung iip in this county are, on the Union Pacific line, Kuhn, Finley, 
Broadwater, Kelly, Northport, and on the Burlington-Guernsey branch from Bridge- 
port west; Atkins, Yockey, and of course, Bayard, heretofore mentioned. Chimney 
Eock is the only station on the Union Pacific branch west from Bridgeport to 
Haig. On the Burlington line north and south tlirough the county, are Bonner, 
Angora, Vance, Alden, Simla. Inland points in this county are Eedington in the 
southwest corner; Collyer and Silverhorn in the southeast corner; Eastwood and 
Hickory in the east part, Clemano, Lightner, Lynn, and Goodstreak in the north 


Xance County is in thi' luntriil part of the state, the fifth rounty west of the 
Missouri Eiver. Its first settlement was in 1S5T liy a band of Mormons, of some 
one hundred families, and they established Genoa. In 1862, the Government 
surveyed the territory comprising this county and confirmed it in treaty to the 
Pawnee Indians for a reservation. In 1875, the Pawnees were removed to Indian 
Territory, these lands were appraised and sold, and the county opened for settlement 
in earnest. The organization of the county and its first election took place in 1879. 
The foundation, platting and incorporation of its town occurred. Eandall Fuller 
brought his herds into the county before the sale of the reserve lands, and recorded 
the plat for Fullerton in 1879, and it was designated by Governor Xance as the 
temporary county seat. Fullerton has been a town so fortunate as to .secure one 
of the most beautiful locations in the state. Genoa was maintained as a postoffice 
during the reservation days, and after the reservation was abandoned rapidly built 
up as a town, and one of the principal Indian schools of the country is located at 
this place. Xeoma, Tekousha, Eed Wing, Westgood were inland ]xiints that ra])idly 
appeared after the reservation left. Eailroad tow-ns in the county now are (Jenoii, 
Kent, Merchiston, Fullerton, and Belgrade. 


This county, as Forney County, was one of the original eight counties. In the 
chapter on the order of organization of the towns, the establishment of early towns 
in the county, Brownville, Nemaha City, Peru, St. Deroin and Hillsdale was dis- 
cussed. The modern county seat of this county is Auburn. In fact, Auburn is a 
sort of "twin city." North Auburn was platted in 1868; and South Auburn was 
laid out in 1881, first named Calvert in honor of T. E. Calvert, of the railroad 
corporation, to whom it really owed its foundation. The dates of establishment, 
or platting of towns in this county, were: Brownville, 1854; Nemaha City, 1854; 
St. Deroin, 1853; Carson, 1882; London, incorporated 1858; Peru, 1857; Brock, 
which since its first settlement in 1854 has had the various names of Dayton, 
Howard, Clinton, Podunk and Brock, the last since 1882. Aspinwall, first settled 
by Louis Neal, a half breed in IS.t^: and postoffice established in ISfiO; Johnson, 
started in ISGH: Cliftcn wIicit scltl.'m.'nt w:is made in ISCI : Feliin--. Hcdford. 


platted in 1882; Glen Rock, surveyed in 1857; St. Frederick in 1858; Hillsdale, 
in 1866; San Francisco, soon after 1854 but long since abandoned. Grant, Locust 
Grade, and Bratton were other early points. The towns now thriving in this 
county, as railroad stations and good trading centers are: Aspinwall, Xemaha, 
Brownville, Wood Siding, Peru, on the Burlington; Howe, Auburn, Auburn 
Junction, Glen Rock and Brock on the Missouri Pacific; Bracken, South 
Auburn, Quarry, Rohrs, Johnson, on the east and west line of the Missouri Pacific 
through the county, branching off at Xemaha. Eden, St. Deroin, and London 
are inland points, and Xorth Auburn and Julian are on the B. & M. line 
from Auburn to Xebraska Citv. 


Xuekolls is situated in the southern tier of counties, sixth to the west from the 
Missouri River, and has an area of 579 .square miles. Settlements were attempted 
in this county in 1858, about the time Jefferson and Thayer first were reached. 
The Mormons went through in 1858 and blazed a trail through the county. In 1859 
the Pony Express started over this road and it became -a section of the famous 
Overland Trail. After the war and the Indian troubles of the late ''60s, settlement 
began "in 1870 to come to this county in a permanent manner. Superior, the 
largest town in the county and an important railroad center, was surveyed in 1875, 
but village organization was not perfected until 1879. Nelson, on land first owned 
by C. X. AVheeler and named for him, surveyed in 1872, was chosen in 1873 as 
the county seat. The county was given legal status by legislative action in 1871. 
Hardy was laid out in 1880. Elkton. Henrietta, Spring Valley, Beachamville, Ox 
Bow, Oak, Xora and St. Stephen were early ])ostofRce or trading ])oints in this 

Xow the stations on the B. & M. east and west through the county 
are Hardy, Mill Spur, Superior Junction, Superior, and Bostwick. On the Xorth- 
western line from Seward into Superior, they are Oak, Xora and Cadams; on the 
line from Edgar to Superior through the county are Angus, Xelson, Smyrna, to 
Superior ; on the Missouri Pacific from the north to Superior are, Lawrence, Mount 
Clare, Abdal. On cross lines east and west are Ruskin and Sedan. 


Otoe County is located on the Missouri River, in southeastern part of the 
state with two counties yet to the south, and has an area of 606 square miles. 
The first settlement and the establishment of the old Fort Kearney, and the begin- 
nings of Xebraska City, Syracuse in 1869 and 1870; and some of the other 
early towns in this county have been touched upon heretofore. Dunbar, first 
started and known as Wilson for about ten years, succeeded the old Wilson ranch 
stage station. Unadilla was laid out theretofore, but nothing done in the way of 
building until 1872; Wyoming was laid out and started in 1855. Other early 
towns were laid out, platted or started in the following years: ('ain|i (icck. 1857; 
Talmage. laid off in 1881, and named in honor of a distinguished niilnuid official; 
Solon, in 1873; Hendricks, .Minersville, Barnev. Delewarc. K.l-iin. hlla. Xurserv 

132 iiist()i;y of xkhkaska 

Hill. Paislev. Siiinnutt. most of which were phices in UMmc only. Nortli- 
villc and Burr Oak. 1 )ovor and Barney develoi)ed later. 

Eailroad towns iu the county are now (1920), on the Mis.souri Pacific in this 
county: Talniage, Burr and Dougla.s; Paul and Xebraska City; Lorton, Dunbar 
and Berlin; this road running both north and south, and east and west in this 
county ; as does the Burlington lines with the towns of Barney, Minersville, Nebraska 
City, Wyoming; Etherton, Dunbar, Turlington, Unadilla and Palmyra. This 
eounfy has a rich fund of important history that cannot be touched upon in this 
short and inadequate sketch, but many of these points of interest will appear in the 
survey of the early developnipnt of other phases of Nebraska hi.«tory. 


This county is the first neighbor to the west of Eidiardson, the southea,«t 
corner county in the state. It has an area of 431 square miles. Its first .settlement 
and its first towns have been elsewhere treated. Its organization in 1856 so closely 
followed the proclamation of the first eight counties, that it became one of the 
fir-st ten counties established in the state. Cincinnati was started in 1857. Pawnee 
City was chosen as county seat, and laid out in !S.")T ; in 1861 Table Eock received 
a postoffice, its settlement having been made in 1855 and its actual beginnings 
lay about 1857. Burcliard was not founded until 1881. Other early towns and 
postoffices were Mission Creek, Steinauer, West Branch, New Home, Tip's Branch, 
Wolf Creek. On the Rock Island lines through this i-ounty, the towns now are 
Lewiston. Mayberry, Steinauer, Pawnee City and Dubois ; on the Burlington. Table 
Rock, Pawnee City. \'iolet, Burchanl. Armour, and mi another line of road. Book- 
waiter, Tate: and A])iileton on aixither branch. 


This county is iii the western edge of Nebraska, and is the northernmost of the 
tliree counties that border onto the eastern Colorado state line. It has an area of 
886 square miles. Its early history conforms to that of Keith County, from 
which it w-as set off shortly after the legislative authorization in 1887. It lies 
south of the Platte River, which flows through the southern edge of Keith County. 
Up until the time of its separation it had practically no settlement to speak of, 
and since then has iU'\elop(Ml M^vcral towns along the line of the Burlington 
Railroad which traverses the county east to west. These towns are Elsie, Madrid, 
Crant. the county seat, Brandon and \'.'nang(i. Pearl and Phebe are about the 
oidv inland points. 



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towns in the 


county that cleveloj)e(l into at least the postoffice or trading center stage in its first 
ten years of separate life were, Rick Falls, Saeraniento, Axelson, Hopeville, Oscar, 
Industry, Integrity. Highland, and Westmark. With the advent of the railroads, 
practically a in'w >rt of rdiiiimiiiities took the stage of operations in this county. 
The county seat of tliv cnuiity ikjw is Holdrege, not only the leading town in this 
county, but an important railroad center and one of the most enterprising towns 
in the state of Nebraska. Funk. Loomis and Bertrand are other Burlington towns, 
with Sacramento ami Atlanta also on this road. Williamsburg, Westmark, Holcomb 
and Havdiin remain as inland iiuints in this countv. 


Pierce County is one tier south of the northern counties of the state. It has an 
area of 5?7 square miles. It was legislatively established in 1859, and actually 
organized in 1870, with the county seat laid out on specified land, that soon became 
the site of the town of Pierce. Its first settlement was made in 1866, by a portion 
of the German colony from Wisconsin, that had settled on the North Fork of the 
Elkhorn, a little above the present Norfolk, Madison County. Settlements started 
around Plainview in ISTl and the postotfice was established in April, 1872, as 
Roseville, in honor of Charles Rose, its first postmaster, but the name was changed 
in 1874 to Plainview. Settlement was made in 1872, but the postoffice of Colbergen 
started in 1880. Another early point in this county was Hadar, which with Pierce 
and Plainview were the stations on the Sioux City and Pacific line then. Upon 
a Burlington line, running east and west through the northern part of the county, 
later sprang up McLean, Osmond and Breslau, and this line gave Plainview a 
second railroad. Colbergen is still an inland jioint. 


Platte County lies on the north side of the Platte River and is the fourth county 
west of the Missouri River. Its early settlement by a hardy, courageous colony 
in 1856 and the establishment of Columbus and other early towns has heretofore 
been covered briefly. Its first organization was its separation from Dodge in 1855; 
Monroe County was created by the Legislature in August, 1857, and elections of 
officers held in 1858-9, but a petition extensively signed by the residents led the 
Legislature to consolidate Monroe and Platte counties, so Monroe was short-lived. 
Jackson, called Duncan, was started in 1871. The early towns along the line from 
Columbus to Xinriilk were Platte Center, Humphrey, with Tarnov a later station, 
which are in l!)v!(i mmv thriving towns; Lost Creek, Monroe and Westgood were 
early railroad stations also. A Northwestern line across the north side of the 
county supplies railroad facilities to Creston, gives Humphrey a second line; and 
cares for Cornica and Lindsay. Other early inland points were St. Mary, Nebo, Grant 
Prairie, Postville. Metz. Okay, Farrall, and Palestine Valley. Oconee has replaced 
Lost Creek at the point where the Norfolk branch leaves the Union Pacific main 
line, a few miles west of Cohiinbus. Inland ]Kiints in the county now arc iioheet. 
Oldenbnsch, Neboville. Woodl.uin. Itoscnlmrg. Looking (ilass. I'ostvillc. and St. 


roLK cor NT Y 

Polk County is on the south bank of the Platte River, directly south of Platte 
County. While created in 1856, it was not organized until 1870. Its first perma- 
nent settlement was in Hackberry precinct in lS(i7. The early settlers came to 
the site of Osceola in 186!), it was chosen as the K.iinty seat in 1870 and its 
present location, the geographical center of the (■(ninty was selected and made a 
permanent sitr in Octnher, 1871. Stromsburg was surveyed and laid out in 187'^. 
Pleasant Hdinr. Waylaiid, Cyclone, Redville, Thornton, Bellville and Conklin were 
early inland points, and Arcade, first station east of Osceola on the railroad. At 
this point, Shelby has built into a good town in later years. When the Union 
Pacific extended from Stromsburg on to Central City, the towns of Durant and 
Polk sprang up. The county has an area of -1.30 square miles, and is an especially 
prosperous and thrifty county. 


Kcd Willow County of 7->i) <<^iv.ux- niih's. is on the southern line <if the state, 
with the IJeimhlican liiver traversing its entire length and Red Willow Creek join- 
ing about the center of the county. Its settlement began in 1871, and in Novendter 
of that year a company was formed, with Royal Buck as president and managing 
spirit to locate a town in this region, on the Republican, and a townsite selected 
and named Red Willow. In* is;:! the eonnty was organized and given the same 
name. A town namfd iiillingsvillc was started hut did not really materialize. In 
May, 1873. the town of Indianola was laid out, by the Republican Valley Land 
Association, nrai- Coon Cnrk. When it came to the location of a county seat the 

two settlements, on i Coon Creek and the older one on Red Willow Creek 

joined in a bitter cont.'st. On election day. tbe nole.l l,,rator. D. W Smith, olb'ted a 
hundred l,,ts m Indianola for a court house there, and that town won lirst hlo(,d 
on the election decision, but a contest ensued, with Indianola the early winner. 
Settlements came fast in the late '70s, and li\ isso the !>. & M. Railroad 
bad reached Indianola. In May, 1883, McCook was laid out by the Burlington 
people, of Lincoln Townsite Company, and designated as a division point, and 
]ilans laid for construction of shops, etc. In later years, McCook won the county 
seat away from Indianola. and also became the leading town of that part of the 
state. Fairview and Willow (Iroxe were other railroad stations in early years. 
Van Wyck, Danbury, Hanihurg, Lebanon, Valley Grange, Tyrone, and Vaillon were 
early inland points in the southern part of the county. Bartley and Perley have 
luiilt n|i along the Burlington in later years. Lebanon, Danbury and Marion are 
on another linr of the l!urlini;ton ci'ossing the s(uitbeasl corner of tbe eountv. and 



This is th|. ,-outheast coinei- county of the state, and has an area of :a:> S(|uare 
tniles. Much of its early settlement and location of its first towns has hereto- 
fore been c(i\crcd. It was one of the eight original counties, and its settlement 
IM-edated th.' territorial government. Salem. Archer. Falls City. Hulo and Ilnm- ; 

holdt were hcrctoloic discussed. Stella was hud out cm land domited hv Mr. .1. T. I 


Clark, in 1881. Saint Stephen, Yankton, Winnebago, Geneva were flourishing 
villages in very early days of the county and long since abandoned. Arago, Middle- 
burg, Wells Mills, Miles Ranch, Long Branch, Flowerdale, Highland, Barada, 
and Williamsville were villages inland from a railroad, having a postoffice, store, 
etc., some forty years ago. Eulo, Preston, Salem, Dawson and Humboldt were 
on the Burlington line, and Falls City and Elmore on the Missouri Pacific forty 
years ago. Verdon and Stella built up early in the '"80s along the Missouri Pacific. 
Yerdon is a junction lietween that line and a Burlington line up the river to 
Nebraska Citv. and Shubert is north of Yenldii (.n tbat line. 

The early history of this county, which lies directly south of Keya Paha Counly, 
is embraced in that of Holt and Brown counties. It is a large county with 1,004 
square miles of territory. It was formed as a county in 1888, and theretofore had 
not been very thickly settled. H. M. Uttley went up from Wisner to Long Pine 
with a steanr saw and was the first settler there. Dennis Sullivan settled soon 
thereafter. A. X. Bassett settled on the creek three miles above. These settle- 
ments were probably a little west of the present Rock County line, but presage the 
opening of that locality. Bassett, the county seat, and Newport, which bears the 
reputation of being the largest small sized station in the country for hay shipments, 
were located and built up before the separate establishment of the county and soon 
after the railroad. Northwestern line, went through. Menla was the only point 
in the northern part of the county, forty years ago. Cuba, Mariaville, and Kirk- 
wood are now in that part of the county, and inland points in the southern section 
of the county are Butka, Duff, Sybrant, Hammond, Seldon. i'erch. Shebesta, and 
Thurman. This county is not given t<> very intensive cultivatinu. but is a great 
hay producing region. 


While created in 1855, Saline County was organized in 186'4. It lies directly 
west of tlie southern half of Lancaster County, and the Blue River flows through 
the eastern part of the county. It has an area of 573 square miles. The first 
permanent settlement was in 1858 when Gen. Yictor Vifquain located near the 
Fork of the Blue. Early settlers following very closely were E. Frink, \V. Rem- 
ington, C. Haynes, T. Stevens, J. Biekle, Tobias Castor, Wm. Stanton and James 
Johnson. Swan City, at the junction of Swan Creek with Turkey Creek, was 
the early county seat, after the first election in 1863. Wilber, the permanent county 
seat, was laid out in 1872; Crete, the metropolis of the county, was laid out in 1870, 
and failed to capture the county seat, though fifty years later, in 1920, it hasn't 
given up hope entirely. DeWitt began in 1872; Dorchester was laid out in 1871; 
as w^as also Friendville, now known as Friend, in the northwestern corner of the 
county. After the removal of the county seat from Swan City, that town dwindled 
away. In fact, the necessity of a county seat in the early years was slight, as the 
jwckets of the ofScials were their office vaults usually. Various postoffices established 
early in the county's career included, Western, 1872; Pleasant Hill, which 
was made the county seat in 1871 and held it until 1878 when Wilber took it as a 
result of an election in 1877 in which it defeated Crete. Albanv, Atlanta, Blue 


Island, Danville, Fairview, Girard, Repose, Goldrinsey, Honesdale, Yarna, Hornes- 
dale, LeGrand, Lucieville^ Mandana, North Fork, Saxon, Eiceville and Tabor. 
The railroad towns in the connty are now: Tobias, Western and Swauton in the 
southern part; DeWitt, Shestak, and Crete in the eastern edge; and Dorchester 
and Friend in the northern part of the county. Plato and Pleasant Hill are the 
principal inland jioints. 


This is the smallest county in size in the state, of 240 square miles, and 
the oldest county in the state in settlement. The story of Bellevue, reaching back 
to 1810, of the posts, trading centers and Indian locations there have been covered 
in cha])ters heretofore. The story of Peter A. Sarpy for whom the county was 
named was therein touched upon, as was the settlement of its first towns. Papil- 
lion, the county seat, started in 1869 ; La Platte on the B. & M., was laid out in 
1870; Sai-py Center w-as surveyed in 1875; Springfield came to life in 1881; Fair- 
view early in the '60s, Xenia postoffice, and Saling's Grove community, not 
exactly towns, also very early ; and Forest City, Plattford, Nasby were early inland 
jxiints, and Gilmore an early railroad station. In later years, Chalco, Deerfield, 
Portal. Gretna, Avery, Fort Crook station, Pai)]iio, and ^Icadow have built up along 
the railroad lines honeycombing this small county. 


Saunders County, first called Calhciun, until tlie unjuqiularity of the Federal 
Revenue Collector of that name caused its change to the honor of the last territorial 
Governor and early U. S. Senator, Alvin Saunders. In 1865, it was attached to 
Cass County for revenue, judicial and election purposes, and in 1866, its own 
organization was formed. It is located directly north of Lancaster and west 
of Douglas counties, and is 756 square miles in area. Joseph Stambaugli, 
in 1856, was the first settler in the county. Its early towns were started, as fol- 
lows: — Wahoo, only a village of a few houses when it was made the county seat 
in 1873 ; Ashland, the oldest town in the county, held the county seat until 1873, but 
has grown to be an important town ; Valparaiso, settled ten years prior to that, was 
incorporated in 1880; Alvin (Mead), Weston, Clear Creek, Crowder were early 
railroad stations; and inland po.stoffices or trading points in the county, some forty 
years ago, were Ithaca, Rose Hill, Ceresco, Bradford, Milton, Swedeburgh, Head- 
land, Isla, Colon, Esteina, Sand Creek, Platteville, Clayton, Cedar Blufl's, Benton, 
Cedar Hill, Willow Creek, Rescue, Newton, Pilsen, Troy and Chaslaw. Railroad 
towns in the county are now (1920) on the Northwestern, Ceresco. Swedeburg, 
Wahoo, Colon, Cedar Bluffs and Platte River on one line, and Morsebluff and Liu- 
wood on another. The Burlington line cares for Rescue, Prague, Malmo, Wahoo, 
Ithaca and Memphis. The Union Pacific feeds Yutan, Mead, Wahoo, Weston, 
Touhy. and Valparaiso. 


T'ntil the election of November 6, 1S8S. and the establishment thereafter separ- 
atelv of this couiitv. it^^ history is embraced in that of the great mother countv. Clu-v- 


enne. It is the western county in tlie state, of the Xorth Platte River group. Even 
though so young, no county in the state approximates Scotts Bluff in its rapid gains 
in population, development of resources and material wealth. It is 723 square miles in 
area, the seat of the greatest irrigation activities in the state, and the wonder county 
of the state in the past decade. Twenty years ago, there was a broad prairie where 
now stands a city of some seven thousand inhabitants, Scottsbluff. This town did 
not start until the extension of the Guernsey branch pf the Burlington, from Alliance 
and Bridgeport, and the foregoing sentence flashes the history of its rapid growth. 
Along this same line of railroad have built up a wonderful group of towns, which 
are not yet through growing by any means: — Minatare, Mitchell, Morrill and 
Henry, with Toohey, Covert, Snell and Bradley as smaller stations. Gering, which 
has been the county seat of the county since its organization and still holds that 
honor against the jealous and zealous desires of Scottsbluff, was the oldest town 
in the North Platte Valley, being a 'village of some proportions over twenty 
years ago. It was not until ten years ago that the railroad reached this town, when 
the Union Pacific branch came up the valley and Haig (ville), Melbeta, Brockhoff 
and McGrew also sprang up. Gering now has a beet sugar factory and is a prosper- 
ing young city of over 2,500 inhabitants, a growth achieved mainly in the past ten 
years. With sugar factories at both Scottsbluff and Gering, and a factory building 
at Mitchell, and two proposed for Minatare, it is hard to foretell what another 
decade will show for this thriving county. 

SEWARD COUNTY .- — — , - 

Seward County is located in the Blue River Valley, just west of the northern 
part of Lancaster County, and has an area of 574 square miles. The first settle- 
ment in the county was made by Daniel Morgan and his three sons, who located a 
pre-emption claim in the fall of 1858. It was created by the Legislature in 1855, 
under the name of Greene, but the conduct of the Missouri Senator in the Civil 
war period brought that name into unpopularity and it was changed to that of the 
Union Secretary of State in 1862. The county accomplished its organization in 
1865. The city of Seward, county seat of this county, was surveyed and platted 
in 1868 ; Milford .started from a settlement made by J. L. Davison in 1864 and a 
postotfice established then. A dam and a flouring mill was built in 1866 ; Camden 
was started in 1864, and Beaver Crossing, Utica, Pleasant Dale, Tamora and 
Germantown were early stations on the Burlington line from Lincoln northwest, 
and Staplehurst and Ruby Center on a north and south line of this system. Wests 
Mill, Pittsburg, Marysville, Orton, and Oak Grove were very early inland points. 
Later railroad stations to come into a flourishing condition were Cordova, Grover, 
Goehner, Leahey, Bee and a few of the early inland points remain. 


Slieriilaii County, containing 2,469 square miles of territorv, prior to its estab- 
lishment in 1885, was a part of the great Unorganized Territory, and Big Sioux 
County. It lies immediately west of Cherry County on the northern border of 
the state. Since the Northwestern line to the Black Hills went through this 
county, several thriving towns <])rang up; of which Riishvillc. the largest, is the 


county seat; (umlDii is a very eiiterjirisiiij;- town, Hay Springs and Clinton good 
f^tations. Along the line of tin' liurlington, traversing the southern edge of the 
county, is another line of railroad stations, Bingham, Ellsworth, Lakeside, Antiouh 
and Birdsall. Since the discovery of potash within the last five years mainly 
in tlie lakes of southern Sheridan County, several of these towns, and most 
jiartieularly Antineli and Lakeside, have jumped from small villages to little 
cities. Ami if this wdiiderfui potash industry lives up to expectations in the 
next decade, a very bright future can be predicted for southern Sheridan County. 
Among the numerous inland points in this county are Hazleton, Long Lake, 
Jennings, Luhi. Hamilton, Spade, Strassberger, Schill, Kenomi, Hilton, Moomaw, 
Grayson, Hunter, Hinchley, and Peters between the two railroad lines, and Adaton, 
Dullaghan, Whiteelay, Billing, Albany, in the northern part of the county. The 
Sioux Indian, Pine Pidge. I'eservation near I'ine Pidge. South Dakota, laps over 
into this county. 

siorx couxTV 

Sioux is the corner northwest county of the state, and has an area of 2,055 
square miles. Prior to 1883, this county embraced all of that vast extent of 
country north of Cheyenne, and west of Holt. Though unorganized, and oflicially, 
for years, called the "'Unorganized Territory" it went by the unotHcial name of 
Sioux, long before it received that name officially, ('anip Pobinson Military 
Agency was located in the final territory of Sioux County proper. Camp Sheridan 
Military Eeservation was in the territory finally assigned to Sheridan County. 
When the Northwestern Railroad line came through this county, stations were 
built up at Kdvt PobiiisdU, serving the present Fort Eobinson Military Reservation, 
<_ilen. Andrews, and Harrison, the county seat. The county has a large number 
of inland points, among which are, Malinda, Mud Springs, Kelley, Townsend, 
Empire, Curly, Canton, Ashbrook, Aldine, Dome, Dowling and Agate, south of the 
Niobrara River which traverses the county east and west. North of the river 
and railroad are Cross, Story, Montrose, and Unit, and between the river and 
railroad, Colville, while Orella, Joder and Mansfield are cm a Burlington line 
to pAlffemont that crosses the northeast corner of the countv. 

K.M.iX corxTY 

of Custer County, and north of Butfah), so is 
It has an area of 573 square miles. It was 
fTorts by a party of Grand Island men. It was 
rnor Furnas, January 13, 1873, and the first 
election in April, 1873, resulted in the selection of Loup City as county seat. Loup 
City started up in 1873, lu>foi-e il liad any railroad facilities. Other towns that 
also started up while in the iidand stage were, Rockville, Hayestown, Balsora., 
Buffton, Cedarville, Fitznion. and .\ustiM. "When the branches of the Union Pacific 
and Burlinglim came (i\er fimn St. Paul, they placed the following towns, as they 
sprang up or (lexeloped a> railioad stations, Rockville, Austin and Loup City, and 
the B\niing|(iii branch coni inning to Sargent, fed MeAlpine: Schaupps and .\shton 
were (ui the branch from St. Paul, coining through Farwell in Howard County. 

This county 

• borders mi the eas 

very near the < 

i-enter of the state. 

settled in ]87<;- 

3 by the impetus of 

organized by !> 

roclamation of Gov< 


The Billiugi? line of the Burlington cuts across the soutlnvest corner of the county, 
and there are located Hazard and the very thriving town of Litchfield. 


Stanton County is in the northeastern ])rtrt of the state, so situated that two 
counties are east of it between the Missouri Rner and this county; and two to 
north before the northern boundary of the state is reached. It has an area of 
431 square miles. Up until 1867, when it yvas named after Edwin M. Stanton, 
of Lincoln's cabinet, it was called Izard County, and contained one tiei- of town- 
ships now belonging to Cuming County. It had been created since isci. hut its 
first permanent settlements did not come until 1865, when a group of homesteads 
were located on Himibug Creek, near the present town of Stanton. Stanton was 
located as the county seat at the first election, in 1866. Nothing was done for 
some three years toward building a town, or establishing county buildings until 
Densmore & Kendall moved their store from Clinton, three miles east. The fol- 
lowing year they secured the Pleasant Run postoffice, a half mile west, but they 
had desired the Clinton postoffice. Canton postoffice which became the town of 
Pilger, was the next permanent town in the county, laid out in 1880 by the Elkliorn 
Valley Land and Town Lot Company. Clinton, Kingsberry, Canton, just men- 
tioned, Donap, Orion. Sdiwcdi. Craig City, and Bega were the <jtlicr early towns 
or postoffice points in the cnunty. I'ilgcr and Stanton are the cudy two railroad 
towns in the county in llfJn. jiavindw and Bega still survive as inhiml points. 

Thayer County was created in 1856, designated as Jefferson. As noted in the 
account of the present Jefferson County, this name was lost, and the new name of 
Thayer taken, in 1871, when the 1867 consolidation of the old Jefferson (now 
Thayer) and Jones (now Jefferson) was undone. The first settlements were made 
in 1869, though the county, as a part of the famous Overland Trail, had been 
traversed considerably before then. The final organization of the county ensued 
in 1871. Hebron, the county seat, was located in June, 1868, but its real estab- 
lishment occurred in 1869. Alexandria was located in 1871, and named for S. J. 
Alexander, afterwards Secretary of State; Hubbell was laid out in 1880 by the 
Lincoln Land Company, Carleton was laid out in the early '70s; Belvidere was 
platted in 1872 but really started in 1873; Davenport, a town named after Daven- 
port, Iowa, was laid out in 1872. Chester was laid out by the Lincoln Land 
Company in July, 1880; Friedeusan, about eight miles northwest of Hebron was 
a postoffice and Lutheran settlement started in the '70s; Harbine was started about 
1882; Dcshler, a very enterprising little town in the southwest part of the county 
was laid out in 1887. II. .1. Struvc was the first settler and F. J. Ilendcrshot 
started the town. Bruning, in the iKjrih part of county started alunit twenty years 
ago. Suckler Mill, Dryden. Kiowa. Cazelle, Prairie Star were early inland points. 
Newer towns not heretofore rnentioned. in thi> county, are Bynm. Stoddart, Wil- 
liams, and Gilead. 



This is one of the smaller "sandhiir" t-ouuties along the southern edge of big 
Cherry County. Its sepai'ate organization and permanent settlement accompanied 
the arrival of the Burlin.<i:ton railroad line in 1887. A division station was set 
at Seneca, and a town has grown up at this point, practically a railroad town. 
Virtually in the center, as between cast and west borders, but to the northern part, 
has been built up the towii of Tlu-dford, the county seat. Norway to the west of 
Thedford, and Xatick to the east, and Halsey on the Blaine coujity line, are the 
other railroad towns in the county. To the extreme southwest corner lies Summit 
and ncii'th lies Suiifl()\\ci-. iid:ind puints. The Thomas county towns receive much 
trade from southern Clicrrv Cuuntv. 


The early histoiv of this (■nuiity i> entwiiicd in the story of tlie proposed Black- 
bird County which hccaiiic the Omaha Indian Reservation. As the railroad went 
through this teriitoi\, the towns of Bancroft. Athens, station at Middle Creek, and 
town of Emerson s]iranu up. . Wiiiiieliago was an interior supply station. In 188!>, 
this territory was a^aiii i;i\cii Miili\iilual i-i'ro;:iiition and formed into a county, 

of 387 square miles in area, iiai I loi' \,.hia-^ka"s Senator John il. Thurston. 

This county now contains the remainine Omaha Reservation, and the thriving 
towns of Rosalie, Walthill and \\innelia-o on the Burlington line; Pender, Thurston, 
and Emerson on the ('., St. 1'.. M. i^- O. Macy is an inland settlement in eastern 
ed-e. on Blackbird Creek. 


This county is the second one north of Buffalo and has two counties yet to the 
north before reaching the northern bouiulary of the state. It is in the fertile Lou[) 
Valley, and has an area of 370 square miles. Its first actual settlement was in May, 
1872, when a party of Danes from Wisconsin settled on the west side of the North 
Loup River, above two miles from the present town of Ord, on what is known as 
Dane Creek. Another colony had sent representatives to .scout this country in 
1871, and its first group, under the leadership of Rev. Oscar Babcock, arrived 
in 1872, a few days later than the Danish colony. This colony developed the 
North Loup settlement, and a postoffiee was established at North Loup in 1872. 
The town of Ord was surveyed and platted in 1874, and named for Gen. E. 0. C. 
Ord. then in couuiuind of the Department of the Platte. When the county was 
organized carlv in is;:;, the county seat was located on the site of Ord, though 
the muiie was chosen later. The ((uirf house was built in 1876, the same year in 
which Fort JIartsulV. in the northern edge of the county was completed. Arcadia 
was started .soon after this, in the western part of the county, and has developed 
into a very good town. Vinton, Mira Creek, Yale. Geranium, Sedlor, Ida, Garfield. 
Adair and Springdale were early postoflices or inland trading ])oints. North Loup, 
Spelts, Olcan, Ord, Flyria. and .\rcadia are the railroad points now. 



A'ery much of the early history of Washington County that belongs in this 
short sketch has been heretofore given, in the discussion of the establishment of 
the old Fort Calhoun (Fort Atkinson in 1819) and the town later; of Fontanelle, 
1854; DeSoto, about 1855; Cuming City, 1854; and Blair, the final county seat in 
1869. The county was one of the eight original counties that came in with the terri- 
torial government. Bell Creek was laid out in 1869 and Herman in 1870. Kennard 
was settled in 1856 by Nathaniel Brewster, wdio purchased the townsite, but the post- 
otfice was established in 1868; Hiland, formerly Mead station, was early, its name 
changed to Hiland in 1881, but the postofhce located there in 1882 under the name 
of Giles. Admah, in the northwest corner of the county was named after a Bible 
town of that name. Xero and Amherst were other early inland points. Arlington, 
Bowen, Hillside, Tyson and Cotfman are later points to develop, and are all rail- 
road stations. 


Wayne County lies in the northeastern corner, to the south of Cedar and Dixon, 
border counties. It has an area of 450 square miles. It was organized by procla- 
mation of Governor Butler in 1870, about two years after its first permanent settle- 
ment. Mr. B. F. Whitten was the pioneer .settler. LaPorte was laid out in May, 
1S74. and was the early county seat of the county. Wayne P. 0. or Brookdale, 
whicli was laid out by the railroad townsite company in 1881, rapidly grew and 
soon became the county seat. LaPorte was left as an inland point, and Wayne, 
Donop, Xorthside, became railroad stations. The towns of Hoskins, Apex and 
Winside are now the railroad stations southwest of Wayne in this county, and 
Carroll and Sholes to the northwest. Altona and Melvin are inland points. 


Webster County is in the southern tier of counties, with six counties to each side 
of it in this tier. It has an area of 578 square miles. . The first permanent 
settlement in the county was in the spring of 1870 by members of the Rankin 
Colony, they locating at Guide Rock. The same season, Silas Garbev, later a 
governor of the state, pushed on up the Republican River to where Red Cloud 
iww is. iuid projected a settlement at that point. The county was organized in 
187:!, and for some months the dugout of Silas Garber was used as a court house. 
Blue Hill was surveyed and platted in September, 1878, by A. B. Smith, the 
town surveyor, for the railroad company. Amboy started about 1876. Cowle.s 
was laid out in September, 1878, and named in honor of W. D. Cowles, who prior 
to his death had been general freight agent of the B. & M. Other points in this 
county some forty years ago were Inavale, on the Burlington line, Stockdale on the 
IT. P.. Eckley, Thomasville, Catherton, Wheatland, Wells, Stillwater, and Scott, 
inland points. Lester, Bladen and Rosemont are towns that sprang up after the 
railroad lines were well established in this county. 



This territDiT was fur years in tlu' ^Tcat "Unor.iiaiii/.oil TerritoiT." Wheeler 
County was authorized by Legislatixe act and iianieil in 1.S77. but it was on April 
11, 1S81, that its formal organization was accompli.-lu-d. Its first organization 
was a territory forty-eight miles long, being the entire territory adjacent to the 
present county of Holt on the south, and twenty-four miles wide. From the west 
half of this, in 1884, Garfield County was taken. J. F. Cummins was elected 
as the first county clerk and Tor some rime he kept the records at Cunnninsville. 
on Beaver Creek, whicli iin,-;ht tiiercl'oi'e be termed the first county K'at. But this 
place was too far east to suit thi' settlers, so a new county seat was projected and 
a town laid out, near tlie iniddle ol' the county, on Cedar Creek, or as often 
designated "River."' This new town. Cedar City, with its nineteen blocks to be 
built around a court house sipiiire. also proved to be a "inrd of passage" and in 
1884. Bartlett was made the county seat, and Cedar City passed entirely out of sight. 
Bartlett has succeeded in holding the county seat against the onslaughts of a new 
town, in the southwestern corner of thi' county. Ericson, that became the terminus 
of a branch on the Burlington from (ii-eehy. Pibel. Cumminsville. Headquarters, 
Arden, Xewboro, ami Francis aie inland points, and Deloit is barely across tlie 
Holt county line. 


This county is 575 scpiare u\\\o< in area, situated second county west of Lan- 
caster and third tier from the >ontli line of the state. Its first permanent settle- 
ment was made in 1865 by William .Vnder.son and sons, upon the West Blue River. 
It had in 1863 .some five stations along the Mormon trail, and in 1S64 ilr. Lush- 
baugh had established what became known as the Jack Smith ranch. The first 
settlements were mainly along the valley of the West Blue. Settlements continued 
rapidly until by 1872 practically all of the government land was taken, and every 
part of the county had received a start toward permanent settlement. Prior to 
1870 the county had been attached to Seward County for judicial, revenue and 
election purposes, though it received legislative establishment and a name in the 
Act of 1855. York was started in 186!). and was located as the county seat at the 
start. This has become one of the enterprising and beautiful small cities of the 
state. Bradshaw was started in 187!); McCool Junction, .started in 1888; Hender- 
son was inc(n'|ioi-ateil in ISI'K; IJcnedict. in l."^!"); Lushtou was surveyed and 
]jlattcd in 1.S,S7: Waco was hiid (Jut in l.s;7 when the Burlington came through; 
Arborville was laid out in 1874: and other early towns or postoffices in the county 
were, McFadden. Lisbon, Indian, Cana, Long Hope, Blue Valley, Westifield and 
Plainfield. railroad stations: the others being mainly inlanil points, and in the 
northern part of the county, weie Sta|ilehurst. Thayer, Arborville, Palo, and 
Creswell. Houston and (Iresliam haxe built up since the Northwestern came in 
from David City. Mapjis. Kno\ and Charleston are railroad station points, and 
Arl)orville and Bluevale arc ilie principal inland points in tlie county now. 

The foregoing sui-\ey has cudy aticmpted to outline the first settlement, loca- 
tion, naming, area and organi/.al iiui of each t'ounty, attemjiting to give a chrono- 
logical pei-spective of the estahlishmiiit of its various towns, the waning of those 


the present towns as ouuki be secured, la attempting to name so many inland points 
in the various counties, many of wliieh are hardly towns, but mere settlements 
with perhaps a school, church, store and garage, or some of those institutions, no 
doubt numerous inland ciiiiimunities Just as worthy of record have been overlooked 
and missed, but tlu'ii- pi'i'scnce has not been inteiitionally slighted in any degree. 


The name "Nebraska" first appe.ired iu print about ISl'-i, the year in which John 
C. Fremont made liis explorations through this region, and in his report spoke 
of the ■■Xel)raska River." This was the Otoe Indian name for the Platte, derived 
frciiii the ()t(ie word. "Xe-brath-ka," meaning "Flat Water." Secretary of War 
William Wilkins. in his njiort of November 30, 1844, says "The Platte or Nebraska 
Kiver being the central sticani would very properly furnish a name to the (proposed) 


The origin of the names given to the ninety-thrt'C counties of Nebraska is very 
interesting. It is rather difficult to ligure this out with perfect accuracy, for 
numerous counties derived their n.iiucs fnini lcgislati\e enactment, with no regis- 
tration made of the source from which tlie jn-oposer derived the names selected, 
and other counties took their names from local sources, even when the name rather 
intimates being a memorial to some well known public servant, and iu still others, 
the true origin still remains a matter of unsettled contention. 

A dozen Nebraska counties received names which commemorate one of the 
Presidents of the United States; Washington (George Washington, President 
1789-1797) ; Adams, for John Adams, 1797-1801; Jefferson, for Thomas Jefferson, 
1801-1809; Madison, for James Madison, 1809-1817; Polk, for James K. Polk, 
1845-1849; Fillmore, for James Fillmore, 1850-1853; Pierce, bearing same name 
as Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857; Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865; Grant, 
for IT. S. Grant, 1869-1S77; Hayes, for Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-1881; Garfield, 
for James A. Garfield, 1881; and Arthur, for Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1885. The 
county now Platte, once bore the name of Monroe, for President James Monroe, 
1817-1825. It is often thought that Johnson County may have received its name 
from President Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869, biit it more than likely received it from 
the memory of Gen. R. M. Johnson, for whose wife the county seat was first 
named and later changed to Tecumseh, for the famous Indian chief who is sujiposed 
to have been killed in battle by General Johnson. 

Numerous other counties bear the names of statesmen who left their impress 
upon American history, even if they did not in some instances attain the coveted 
goal of tlie presidency. The names bestowed upon Franklin, Hamilton, Knox 
and Wayne counties bring to memory the names of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander 
Hamilton and their two contemporaries of Revolutionary times. Boone County's 
name pays tribute to Daniel Boone of Kentucky ; Cass, recalls to mind General 
Lewis Cass of Michigan ; and the names of the great triumvirate of statesmen of 
the period between 1820 and 1850 were commemorated in this state, though one 
memorial fell by the wayside. Webster County recalls Daniel Webster; 
Clay County pays tribute to Henry Clay, and is a name tried twice, once upon a 


county later divided between Gage and Lancaster, and finally upon the present 
Clay County. The county given the name of Calhoun later became Saunders. 
Quite fittingly did the name of Douglas befall the lot of the most populous county 
of the state, for to Stephen A. Douglas was much credit due for the establishment 
of statehood to Nebraska. Another senator, Augustus C. Dodge of Iowa, who intro- 
duced a stateliood bill, was similarly honored. Three members of President Lincoln's 
cabinet, Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of State William H. 
Seward and Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton have had their names preserved 
to posterity by Nebraska counties. Vice-President Schuyler Colfax was similarly 
honored. Horace Greeley and James G. Blaine were two statesmen whose names 
are preserved in Nebraska's County Eoll. Dixon and Harlan are two more counties 
that bear names, probably from other lesser statesmen. 

A considerable group of generals of the Civil war period were likewise honored, 
no doubt largely because of the reverence for their careers carried by legislators 
who had seen service in their commands. In addition to General (President) 
Grant, such respect was paid to Generals \Villiam T. Sherman, Philip H. Sheridan, 
0. 0. Howard, Hooker, Thomas, Logan, McPherson and the compiler is not sure 
of the name Wheeler. Custer County plainly bears the suggestion of Gen. George 

A. Custer; as does Kearney, the respect shown to Gen. Stephen W. Kearney, and 
Cherry was named for Lieutenant Cherry. The county of Holt commemorates the 
Indian period. 

Reverting to the local statesmen of Nebraska's early political history, in numer- 
ous instances, similar tribute was paid to some governor, senator or state official. 
The following governors, territorial and state, were thus honored ; Francis Burt ; 
JIark W. Izard, by a county that afterwards lost this name; William A. Eichardson ; 
Black and Morton were passed, though Morton was so carried for a time; and 
finally Saunders, the last territorial governor, whose namesake took away the name 
Calhoun from that statesman's memory. Secretary and Acting Governor Thomas 

B. Cuming received an honor that stayed. Secretary Paddock's county, which was 
to be cut out of Holt, did not hold that name. It has often been thought that 
Hall County was named in honor of Judge Augustus Hall, then chief justice at the 
time of its legislative organization, but local tradition attributes the name to a 
local party, business partner of an early sheriff of that county. 

Beginning with David Butler, the first state governor, numerous successors in this 
office received this tribute. Of the next six governors, all were so honored except Silas 
Garber, namely Robert W. Furnas, Albinus Nance, James W. Dawes, John M. Thayer 
and James E. Boyd. The few counties organized during the administrations of the 
succeeding governors were named from other sources. Secretary of State Jolui 
J. Gosper, 1873-1875, was the only minor state offiicer to be so honored, unless 
it might have been that the prestige of Attorney General Champion S. Chase, 
rather than Lincoln's cabinet officer of that name, influenced the naming of that 
county. Several United States senators have been thus honored in Nebraska. 
The luinor nrcdnlcil tii John M. Thayer in naming such a county came rather 
(luring hi< clays df proiigc from the senatorship than his later regime as governor. 
Hitchcwk County was named for United States Senator Phineas W. Hitchcock, 
father of Nebraska's present Senator. (hIIm ri M. Hitchcock. Saunders, of course, 
.-served as both governor and .senator. Senator Thurston, from 1895-1901, had 
one of the later counties named in his lioncir. Keith Countv may liavc taken its 


name from Judge Keith; Dundy took its name from United States Judge Elmer 
S. Dundy; Morrill County, from Charles H. Morrill, president of State Board of 
Agriculture for some years; Brown County bears a name attributable to a number 
of sources; Sarpy County bears honor to the pioneer of early days, long before 
territorial organization, Peter A. Sarpy; and Sl number of counties bear names, 
the source of which is not readily explainable; Dawson, Nuckolls, Merrick, Phelps. 
At least three counties were named for prominent railroad officials, Kimball, Deuel 
and Perkins; Gage was named for Rev. W. D. Gage, chaplain of the legislative 
session which enacted the county's existence. Lancaster and York were names 
bestowed by the Legislature of 1855, attributed by many to the towns and families 
of those names in English history. 

This leaves a group of counties which bear names, the significance of which 
can be surmised from their very meaning: Antelope and Buffalo preserve the 
memory of two of the great family of animals found by the white man when he 
arrived in Nebraska; Platte, Loup and Nemaha coincide with the names of nearby 
rivers; Frontier, Valley, Banner, Garden, Rock and Saline bear witness to physical 
qualities of the region; Seotts Bluff and Box Butte are attributable to noted land- 
marks within their own borders; Cedar and Red Willow call to mind the names 
of Nebraska trees; and another group of counties bear mute tribute to Indian 
tribes that formerly traversed their areas; Cheyenne, Keya Paha, Nemaha, Otoe, 
Pawnee, Sioux, Ponca and Dakota. The greatest inconsistencies perhaps crept 
into naming Frontier to a county imt nii the frontier especially: A'aUoy to a 
county, no more so appropriate than many others; Saline to a county whose 
neighbors have deposits of that product rather than itself. 

Some names just as worthy as the fortunate one had to be passed by, names of 
statesmen just as worthy of honor as many who did receive the same. It would 
seem that Governors Izard, Black, James and Garber made just as creditable 
record as the other early state executives. Cliarles Sumner, whose name is not 
preserved in the state in county or town, gave early currency to, if not actual 
coining, the phrase that stands forth in Nebraska's motto; "Equality Before the 







Formative Steps. There are a vast number of details, historically important 
and very interesting, concerning the formation and growth of the territory of 
Nebraska, and its evolution into statehood, and its development into one of the 
banner states of this great Union, now composed of a sisterhood of forty-eight states. 
It will be possible in this restricted view to only grasp the structural points of this 
evolution, and this probably can l)c best acconqilished through anotlier cbrtmological 

1844. This being the year (if i\\r lii'st pi'actically permanent settlements, is a 
good starting point. As the first prdjici ii>ii (if the old Fort Kearney and the Mor- 
mon arrivals at Florence took ]iliiii' in tbis year, they touched the eastern border of 
a vast region extending fmm the Missouri Itiver to the Rocky :M(iuntains, known 
vaguely and indefinitely us the •T'latte Cinaitry."" It might as well be mentioned 
right here, that the dominant political issue of the next decade, intervening between 
this point and Nebraska's final erection as a territory was slavery. It was inter- 
jected not only into political affairs, but economic, business, social, church and civic 
activities as well as state affairs. The fierce struggle over the admission of Missouri 
had ended without an open disruption of the Union but had left its mark of con- 
tention so rapidly gaining a grip upon the affairs of the country that the very sug- 
gestion of farther territoiy to the west, available for territories or states, opened the 
matter for bitter struggle at (luce. In this year, 1844, two events forerunning the 
erection of the new tei-ritory occunvd. XovcmbtT :;n. ihr lii'st otficial use of the 
name "Xebraska"" was made by Seci-etary of War William Wilkins, who suggested 
the "Platte"' or "Xebraska" river coimtry as a good area for another state and 
December 17, Stephen A. Dottglas, of Illinois, introduced his first Nebraska bill in 
the House of Representatives at Washington, an effort which came to naught in 
immediate results. Init far reaching in its foundation effects. 

1S48. Stephen A. Dougbis madi' another futile attempt, by his introduction of 
tlie sercmd X\^braska bill. 

is.-,l. Another attempt to ]iroject a territory west of Iowa and :Missouri, even 
niilcd to reach a vote, in tlie session of is:. ]-•.'. 

IS.Vi. ■l'bi> yrnv ni;iik> ibe be-inning of tlu' veal and linnl elforts. Willard P. 
Hall of .Mi»(iuri. <iirere(l a nieaMiiv. on l)i'eemlier 13, IsriS. attempling to organize 
the 'i'erritory of "Platte-." liut Irom tlu' Conimittce on Territories, William A. 



Eichai-dson, of Illinois, seciiretl the reporting of a bill organizing the Territory of 
Xebraska, but despite the very warm opposition of the southern meml)ers, this bill 
went to the Senate accompanied by pro-slavery blasts of warning. Stejjhen A. 
Douglas got it out of the committee in the Senate, but too late to secure its adoption 
in that session. In the fall of 1853, a number of men assembled at Bellevue, and 
delegated Hadley D. Johnson, a prominent citizen of Council Bluffs, Iowa, to repre- 
sent them in this matter. On December 14, 1853, Senator Augustus C. Dodge, of 
Iowa, introduced another Nebraska bill. Senator Douglas, on January 23, 1854, 
offered a bill so amending Senator Dodge's offering that it left little but the title, 
and proposing instead of one territory, Nebraska, set forth two, the other to be 
called "Kansas."' This bill, with some further amendments, was passed on March 4, 
in the Senate and in the House in ^lay, and signed by President Pierce on ilay 
30, 1854. 

Area. The territory as then formed contained 351,558 square miles, extending 
from the 40th parallel of north latitude to the British Possessions, and from the 
Mis.<ouri Eiver to the summit of the Eocky Mountains. On February 28, 1861, 16,035 
square miles were set off to the Territory of Colorado; and on March 2d, 228,907 
square miles to Dakota. A triangular tract of 15,378 square miles received later 
from Washington and Utah territories was included in a 45,999 square miles area 
taken from Nebraska and given to Idaho, March 3, 1863, which later step virtually 
reduced Nebraska to its present limits. 

Officers. The first corps of territorial officers appointed by President Pierce 
were as follows : — governor, Francis Burt of Carolina : his secretary, Thomas B. 
Cuming, of Iowa; chief justice of the courts, Fenner Ferguson, of Michigan; 
associate justices James Bradley of Indiana, and Edward E. Hardin, of Georgia; 
marshal, ilark \Y. Izard, of Arkansas, and attorney. Experience Estabrook, of Wis- 
consin. Governor Burt reached tlie Territory in ill-health, on the 6th day of October, 
1854, and proceeded to Bellevue, where he was the guest of Eev. Wm. J. Hamilton, 
at tiie old Mission House. His illness proved of a fatal character, and he died on 
October 18, 1854. Thus ended most tragically and shortly the first gubernatorial 
administration in Nebraska, before it could shape any official record. 

From this point, it will be necessary to review the territorial government, giving 
brief outline of the important events of each administration, and a brief record of 
the important accomplislrments of each territorial legislature. 

1854. Governor Cuming. The first act of Acting Governor Thomas B. Cuming 
was the official proclamation of the death of Governor Burt. Chief Justice Fer- 
guson of the Courts had arrived in the state on October 11, and Justice Bradley on 
October 14, but Justice Hardin did not arrive until December 1st. Marshal Izard 
arrived on the 20th of October, the day after Governor Burt's funeral. Governor 
Cuming's administration, as acting governor, lasted until February, 1855. Impor- 
tant events transpiring in these four months were: — Capital location. For the 
seat of government, a fierce competition ensued between Bellevue, Florence, Omaha, 
Nebraska City and Plattsmouth, and Acting Governor Cuming decided upon Omaha, 
although his official place of residence remained at Bellevue, until January, 1835. 
First census. An enumeration was ordered taken on October 24, 1854, which showed 
a total of 2,732 inhabitants. Considerable discrepancies were later shown to have 
developed in this task and it bears no material worth as a reliable historical record. 
The territory was divided into the eight original counties ; Burt, Washington, Douglas, 


Dodge, Cass, Pierce, Forney ami Kicliardson. Tlie general election was held 
on December 12, 1854, and on December 20, 1854, a proclamation was issued 
calling on the First Territorial Legislature to meet at Omaha, on January IG, 1855. 

First Legislature. Convened in a two-story brick building at Omaha, at 10 o'clock 
A. M., January 16, 1855. TemporaiT officers were Hiram P. Bennett, of Pierce 
County, president pro teni. The Committee on Credentials were Joseph L. Sharp, 
Richardson, who became president of the council, J. C. Mitchell of Washington 
County and Luke Nuckolls, of Cass County. In the Eepresentatives the temporary 
organization was John M. Latham, of Cass County, speaker, and J. W. Paddock, 
as chief clerk pro tem., and later permanently. The permanent speaker was A. J. 
Hanscom, of Douglas. The important part of the governor's message, after his 
allusions to the loss of Governor Burt, was that pertaining to the Pacific Eailway. 
Local machineiT of government was provided for and county officers created. The 
criminal code of Iowa, with some slight, necessary alterations, was adopted for the 
regulation of the new territory. Three institutions of learning were incorporated, 
Simpson University at Omaha, the Nebraska University at Omaha, and the Col- 
legiate and Preparatory Institute at Nebraska City. The favorable report of the 
committee, of which M. H. Clark of Dodge County was chairman, upon the bill 
chartering the Platte Valley and Pacific Railroad Company was the far reaching 
act of this Legislature. 

Other Events of This Period. Other events transpiring in the territory, prior to 
February, 1855, which were foundation stones in the various lines of activity 
of the commonwealth, were : — December 23, Acting-Governor Cuming called for two 
volunteer regiments for defense against the Indians ; December 30th — a convention 
at Nebraska City adopted resolutions asking that General Bela Hughes of ^Missouri, 
be appointed governor and Dr. P. J. McMahon, of Iowa for secretary. January 2(i, 
1855. The territorial capital was definitely located at Omaha. 

GovEENOE Izaed's Administeation. On February 20, 1855, Gov. Mark W. 
Izard, delivered his inaugural address, a,s the second official governor of the territory, 
and he resigned on October 25, 1857. In his administration considerable progress 
was made. The postoffice at Bellevue was established in March, 1855, with Daniel 
E. Reed as postmaster. In the same month, the first session of district court 
was held at Bellevue. Several churches were organized that year, in Omaha, Brown- 
villc, and Neljraska City. In January, 1856, Mrs. Amelia Bloomer delivered an ad- 
dress on votes for women in Omaha in the Second T.i-i-lature's Hall. The boundary 
lines of many counties were fixed by the Legisliitiiic iii 1 sTid. A road was surveyed 
and its construction began, from Omaha to Fort Kearney. The real and personal 
property was assessed and another census taken, which revealed the presence of 
10,716 inhabitants. The foregoing facts mentioned, cover mainly the activities of 
the Second Territorial Legislature which convened at Omaha, on December 18, 
1855. Hon. A. D. Jones, of Douglas, was an important figure in this .session. 
and it was he who mainly handled the matter of designating names to the various 
counties provided for by this session. B. R. Folsoni, president of Council and P. C. 
Sullivan, speaker of the House. 

Third Session of Legislature. Convened at Omaha, January 5, 1857. L. L. 
Bowen, president of the Council, and 0. F. Lake chief clerk ; I. L. Gibbs 
was speaker of the House, and J. H. Brown chief clerk. In this session, 
the first attempt was made to remove the caijital from Omalia. Governor Izard 


promptly vetoed a bill proposing to establish it at a town to be named "Douglas." 
He also vetoed the most striking piece of legislation advanced by this session, the 
repeal of the criminal code, but they passed it over his veto and left the territory 
without any criminal laws. 

Fourth Legislature. This session began on December 8, 1857. Hon. George L. 
Miller of Omaha was elected president of the Council, Washburn Safford, chief 
clerk, and of the House, Hon. J. H. Decker, of Otoe, was speaker and S. M. 
Curran, chief clerk. The memorable event of this session was the secession of a 
portion of its membership, who attempted to set up a separate assembly at Florence. 
This division resulted from further attempts to remove the capital from Omaha. 
This ruption blocked all further attempts to accomplish anything at this session, and 
it expired on January 16th, by limitation. For a second time Thomas B. Cuming 
had been acting governor, since the resignation of Governor Izard. 

Governor Eichardson. Gov. William A. Richardson arrived on January 12tii, 
1858. His official career was short, as he resigned within a few Tuonths and left 
the territory upon December 5th, whereupon Sec. J. Sterling Morton became acting 
governor. In the period of sixteen months, from Governor Richardson's accession 
until Governor Black took office, political lines began to form themselves. The first 
jrolitical convention in the territory had taken place on January 8, 1858, in 
Omaha, as a democratic mass convention. The republicans followed suit on January 
18th at Omaha. A special legislative session was convened on Sc|it('nil)er 31, 1858. 

Fifth Legislative Session. Bowen and Curran were proiiltnt .iinl chief clerk 
of the Council, and H. P. Bennet, was speaker and E. G. .Md.W'cly, iliief clerk of 
the House. A committee consisting of Hons. R. W. Furnas, W. E. Moore and 
Geo. W. Doane, reported resolutions upon the death of Sec. Thomas B. Cum- 
ing, which had occurred on March 83, 1858. Representative S. G. Daily introduced 
a bill on November 1, to "abolish slavery in the Territory of Nebraska." It was 
referred to a special committee, consisting of S. G. Daily, James Stewart, John 
Tafle, D. P. Rankin, and William C. Fleming. Two reports, with the majority 
report being favorable, were returned, but the measure was finally laid u]Kin the 

Gov. S. W. Blj\ck. Gov. Samuel W. Black, arrived on May 2, 1859, and re- 
lieved Acting Gov. (Secretary) J. Sterling Morton of the reins of office. 
In the first months of his administration, events of interest that transpired were, 
among, of course, many others not detailed here: — The action in Jtme, of advocates 
of annexation to Kansas who visited the Kansas constitutional convention. That 
body allowed them to be heard, but took no action toward extending the boundaries 
of that state; in August, the democratic convention at Plattsmouth, nominated the 
first democratic ticket, and the republicans followed with a similar convention nine 
days later, at Plattsmouth. From September 21-24, the first territorial agricultural 
and mechanical fair was held at Nebraska City. October 11, Chief Justice Fenner 
Ferguson died. 

Sixth Session of Legislature. Convened at Omaha, December 5, 1859. Of the 
Council, E. A. Donelan, was president and S. M. Curran remained chief clerk; 
and in the House, Silas A. Strickland was speaker, and James W. Moore, chief 
clerk. In Governor Black's message he called attention to the fact that since 1854 
the territory had expanded from eight counties, to twenty-three with repre.sentative 
there and thirty-five organized or their boundaries fixed by law. The fight over 


slavery sin-aiijr fnrtli as tlie main issue in this sessidii. William H. Taylor 
introdnciMl a liill to abolish slavery in Neliraska. citing that the census of 18.")4 had 
shown thirteen slaves living in Xel)raska, and gave the names of men who held slaves 
at the time he was pushing his measure. George L. Miller argued that the 
measure was not of sufficient importance to warrant the agitation it created, that 
Nebraska was in no danger of becoming either a slave territory or state, and George 
W. Doane cone iirreil in his views. Similar attempts appeared in the House, but in 
the end they were all voted down for the time being. Another notable feature of 
this session was the first active attempt to raise Nebraska to statehood. A bill was 
pas.sed at this session, submitting the proposition to the people of the state, and at 
an election on March .",. 1 scn. it was rejected by a vote of 2,373 to 2,094. 

Seventh Legislaturr. This session convened on December 3, 1860, with Gov- 
ernor Black still in office. W. H. Taylor was president, and E. P. Brewster, chief 
clerk of the Council, and in the House, H. W. DePuy was speaker and George L. 
Seybolt was chief clerk. During this session, slavery received its final quietus. 
John M. Thayer in the Council and Representative Mathias introduced bills, and 
when the House Bill was passed, then vetoed by the governor, it received passage 
over the veto. Governor Black was the last of the succession of democratic gov- 
ernors who had presided over the territory since 1854. He left the territory on 
Mav 2, 1861, and died on the field of battle in defense of the Fnion. in the second 
year of the war. 

Governor Saundehs. Alvin Saunders, of Mount I'leasant, Iowa, was ap- 
pointed governor, by President Lincoln, and with him, in May, 1861, came Alger- 
non S. Paddock, as secretary. Governor Saunders held the mantle of office until 
the actual installation of statehood in 1867, and during much of this time. Sec- 
retary Paddock was acting-governor at intervals. It was, of course, during Gover- 
nor Saunders' administration that the period of the Civil war, and Nebraska's 
height of Indian depredations took place, and he had a busy administration. Also, 
another important event of his administration was the projection into a reality, the 
Pacific Railroad. In his message to the Eighth Session of the Legislature, which 
convened December 2, 1861, the governor said: 

"A mere glance at the map of the country will convince every intelligent mind 
that the great Platte Valley, which passes through the heart and runs nearly the 
entire length of ISTebraska, is to furnish the route for the gi-eat central railroad, 
which is to connect the Atlantic and Pacific States and Territories." 

The apportionment of $19,312 as Nebraska's share of the tax necessitated by 
the breaking out of the war was endorsed by the governor, and this session like- 
wise passed resolutions renewing Nebraska's vows of allegiance to the federal govern- 
ment, branding secession and nullification as treason against the general government 
and stamping Nebraska's position in the gi'cat struggle over the preservation of the 
Union, beyoml ildubt. 

Nehrakir.< I'.nl In ll,r \V,ir. With a poindntion of less than 3(i.0H(). Nebraska 
sent 3,307 men In liiilii Im- the pi'cservation of the Union. Under the proclamation 
of President Lincoln cnlling U>r three years" volunteers, one regiment was assigned 
to Nebraska. (lOvernor Saunders immediately called for volunteers to fill Nebraska's 
ccmtingent. The company was formed June 3, 1861, and the reginu'nt was 
filled w-ithin fifty days, by organization of the tenth company, July 22. 

The officers who served this regiment were Colonels John ^L Thayer (pro- 


moted to brigadier general October i, ISCv!) and Robt. E. Livingston of Plattsmoutli. 
Besides Colonel Livingston, the lieutenant colonels were Hiram P. Downs, of 
Nebraska City; \Vm. D. McCord, of Plattsniouth, and Win. Baunicr of Omaha. 
Besides McCord, Livingston and Baumer, who had liccii pnniKitcd, the Majors were 
Allen Blacker, of Nebraska City, Geo. Armstrong, Omaha, and 'I'lms. .1. Majors of 
Browuville. The regiment composed of Companies A to K, inclusive. This regiment 
embarked at Omaha for the field of action on July 30, 1861, and were stationed in 
Missouri, going into winter quarters at CJeorgetown. February 2, 1862, they left for 
Q'ennessee, and from Fort Henry went to Fort Douelson, where in that siege they 
participated in their first real engagement, with General Lew Wallace as their 
division CdniniandiT. They participated at Cciriiitli. and scouted in the southwestern 
states in isi;-.' and 1S63, coming to St. Louis m fall, and participating in numerous 
memoraide occasions in the western field during 1863 and 1861:. They assisted in 
Indian excursions prior to being mustered out of service on July 1, 1866. 

The Second Eegimeut, Nebraska Cavalry, was organized in the fall of 1862, as 
a nine months regiment, and served about one year. Its activities were mainly in 
Nebraska, and Dakota in the Indian skirmishes. Colonel Robert W. Furnas of 
Brownville was in command, with ^^'. F. Sapp of Omaha, as lieutenant colonel and 
Majors George Armstrong of Omaha, John Taffe, of Omaha, and John W. Pearman, 
of Nebraska City. When this Second Regiment was mustered out of service, in Sep- 
tember, 1863, Major George Armstrong was commissioned by Governor Saunders to 
raise an independent battalion cavalry from its veterans. This battalion, con- 
sisting mainly of ('oniimnics A. B, (' ami D, were mustered into service as the 
First Battalion, Xdnaska \'cteran Cavalry, and assigned to duty on the plains. 
In July, 186"), this liattalion was consolidated with the First Regiment, Nebraska 
Veteran Cavalrj-, and mustered out of service a year later. 

Wlien, in August, 1861, a call was issued for two companies of cavalry to join 
the First Nebraska Regiment (Infantry) two Companies. '"A" at Omaha under 
Capt. il. T. Patrick, and "B" at Omaha, umlcr ('apt. J. T. Croft, were formed. 
They did not join the First Nebraska, but with t\V(] other ((Unpaiiics, one from 
Nebraska City recruited around there and Iidiii I'auc Cminty, lown. under Capt. 
J. M. Young, and one recruited under Iviciil. Wm. Ciii'l of St. rjiniis, were merged 
into the Fifth l.-u,-, Cualrv. under whidi n;im,. they went tlimugh the war, although 
also called the -Curtis Ildi-sc"" Thi'V s.tmmI then- time in the Southwestern Army. 

During the Indian .mthivaks, (riitcnn- ai-nund August, 18GI. in addition to 
the handful of i-ciiid,iis a\aihilile at the icgiilar military posts, and the First 
Nebraska A'eteran Xtihintccr Cavalry, and the many unotticial, Imrricd local organi- 
zations of settli'i--. iiloiii^ military plan, there were iiumennis coiniiaiiics of militia 
organized and called nut by Governor Sauixlers. These ineludeil Companies A, B 
and C, First Ifegimcnt, Second Brigade, Cdiiipaiiy .V, First Kegiment, First 
Brigade, a detachment of thirteen men. artillery militia iimler Capt. F.dward P. 
Childs: and Company "A," Pawnee Scouts, under (apt. Frank Xoiili. and a com- 
pany of Omaha Indians, uml.u- Capt. Fdwin 1.'. Xasli. 

Mn/h Srs.luii nf Lr,/lsl,ih,n'. Tin- sosnui eiiiiveiied at Oimilia, .January 7, 
1861. F. A. .Mien was President and .). W. H(dliug.shead as Cliier Clerk of" the 
Council, and in the House, George B. Lake was S])eaker and R. Streeter, Chief 
Clerk, tiovernor Saunders in his message nd'erred to the prosperous condition of 

Vol. r— u 


the territory, and paid liiirli tribute to the eourMf^c and higli iiatricitism of thu 
Xebraska Volunteers. 

Tenth Session of Legi'<la(iire. t'uuvuned at Oniaha, January 5, 1865, and elected 
O. P. Mason, President and John S. Bowen, Chief Clerk of. the Council, and in the 
House, S. M. Kirkpatrick was Speaker and John Taffe, Chief Clerk. Governor 
Saunders had desired only one term, but in February, I860, joint resolutions were 
passed urging his re-appointment, and that of Secretary Paddock. 

The Eleventh Session met at Omaha, January 4, 1866. O. P. Mason remained 
as President and W. E. Harvey was chosen as Chief Clerk of the Council. Jas. G. 
Megeath was speaker and George May, chief clerk of the House. This session author- 
ized the people of the Territory to vote upon the question of statehood. 

The Tirelfth and Last Territorial Legislature. This session convened January 
10, 1867, after the first provisional (state) Legislature had convened on the preced- 
ing July 4th. E. H. Rogers was President and 0. B. Hewitt, Chief Clerk of this 
session's Council, and in the House, W. F. Chapin was- speaker and J. S. Bowen 
remained as Chief Clerk. This was an uneventful, valedictory session, as statcliood 
was now virtually an accomplished fact. 


1862-3. During this session of Congress, a bill was introduced, authorizing the 
territories of Nebraska, Colorado and Nevada to take the preliminary steps toward 
admission into the Union as states. This measure did not reat-h final action during 
the life of that session. 

1864. On April 19th, an act of Congress was approved by the President and 
became a law, enabling the people of Nebraska to form a State constitution and 
government. But the continuance of the war, the Indian trouble pending about 
that time, and concurrent conditions rendered immediate action upon this permis- 
sion inexpedient. 

1866. February 9, the action of the Territorial Legislature made local provision 
for carrying that law into effect. 

June 2, an election was held to decide the question. The tabulation of this 
vote will serve to show the closeness of the question even then, and also the develop- 
ment of the state, illustrating what counties were then formed. 

(.'ounties For Against 

Burt 222 42 

Buffalo 1 41 

Cedar 12 39 

Cuming 31 41 

( 'ass 233 480 

Dixon 34 36 

Dakota 106 32 

Douglas 191 ru-> 

I )odge 96 45 

(iagc 96 61 

Hall 2 29 

Johnson lOS 69 


I'ounties For Against 

Jone? :i3 13 

Kearney "21 7 

L'Eau-qui-Coiirt (now Knox) no returns 

Lancaster !»,") '^3 

Lincoln 30 20 

Merrick ■ Ki 8 

Xemaha 34(j 489 

Otoe 432 870 

Platte 123 55 

Pawnee 233 3J 

Richardson 5(13 373 

Sarpy Un) 231 

Seward 23 24 

Saline 5 54 

Washington 404 89 

Soldiers" vote 134 34 

3938 3838 

The closeness of this vote might he puzzling, viewed fifty or sixty years in the 
retrospective were not the explanation made that considerable politics was injected 
into this question. The republican party in President Johnson's administration was 
somewhat divided, and a coalition of the Johnson or liberal wing of that party, with 
the democrats, especially for patronage and like purposes, alarmed such of the 
republicans as those in Nebraska. The republicans of Nebraska desired the adoption 
of the constitution and to secure two senators and a representative to help sway 
the narrow margin at Washington; while the democrats worked almost as hard 
against the adoption of the statehood instrument as for their own ticket. 

July 4, 1866. According to the provision of the new Constitution therefor, 
the first provisional (state) legislature met on this date, at Omaha. F. Welch was 
President and C. E. Yost, Chief Clerk of the Council, and W. A. Pollock, Speaker, 
and J. H. Brown, Chief Clerk of the House. Perhaps the most remarkable achieve- 
ment of this session was the election of two men to the L^. S. Senate, both of whom 
had won their military spurs, Maj.-Gen. John M. Thayer, being elected "the 
senator from the North Platte'' and Chaplain Thomas W. Tipton, "the senator 
from the South Platte" and the "state of Nebraska" being disregarded in the 
designations. Hon. T. M. Marquette had been elected as the first representative. 

July 18, 1866. A bill was introduced into the National Congress to provide 
for the admission of Nebraska, and passed on July 28th, but owing to the near 
approach of the end of the session, the quiet pocketing of that bill by President 
Johnson was all that was needed to prevent its becoming a law at that time. Congress 
adjourned and left the embryo state out in the cold, with a set of state officials, 
legislature and everything elected ready to function ; but its charter not issued yet. 

December, 1866. When Congress convened, somewhat new conditions had taken 
place and the republicans, with their solidarity strengthened were not worrying 
so much about new accessions of numerical membership. While the J'ifteenth 
amendment had not yet been adopted, the stalwart feeling in favor of a franchise 

154 " hi>^tot;y of xkhuaska 

iinliiiiitcd in the color line was rapidly growing. Tlie conservative gentlemen who 
framed the new Xebraska constitution had inserted the word '"white" in the 
franchising qnalifications, and as this was a factor not provided for in the enabling 
act, opened the path for further obstacles. Then the representatives of the older 
states were now more interested in preserving their sectional and individual weight 
then granting accessions to the rapidly growing and menacing jSTorthwest. But 
in January, 1867, a bill looking to the admission of Xebraska received the indorse- 
ment of Congress. But it was promptly vetoed by the President, on the ground 
it embraced the conditions referred to not covered in the enabling act ; that the 
proceedings attending the formation of the constitution were different from those 
prescribed, and that th(> ]X)pulation of the territory did not justify its becoming a 
state. The liill. luiwovcr, was passed over the President's veto, by a vote of 30 to 9 in 
the Senate and by a vote, the day following, in the House, of 120 to 44. But the 
provision was added that the act was not to take effect, 

"Except upon the fundamental condition that within the State of X'i'l)raska tliere 
shall be no denial of the elective franchise, or any other right, tn any person by 
reason of race or color, except Indians not taxed : and upon the furtlici- fundamental 
condition that the T.c;:ishitui-c cf said State, hy a xili^nin ]iulilic act. shall declare 
the assent of said Slate le the s.nd luiulanicntiil cdmlitmn." 

February II. \>-i\'.. Ten ilnijal <;ii\erniii- Sanndei-,-. still the Chief Executive 
of N"ebraska issued a |ii-(«laniatioii eallinii to-etliei- the newly elected state legislature 

to comply with the ednililimis ahnve set foltll. 

February -.'n. ISC,:. I iiiine(liate netKni was taken iipeii this subject, and a bill 
was passed by the Senate. Iiy a \(iti- nl -e\i'n tn three, and liy the House, twenty 

to six, and api)ruved Kv the i^hmm- ■. 'i'lie Lcmslalmv provuled for the formal 

notification of the I'lcsident ef the I nhed States of the acceptance of the conditions 
prescribed, and then ailjouined. 

March 1, 1867. Ti^esiileiit Aiuliew .Idhnsdii issued the proclamation declaring 
Nebraska a state. The next day, lldu. T. .M. Mar(|nette presented his credentials 
in the national House of Kcpresentatnes and consummated the bond. The two 
senators, by waiting two days lengthened their terms a couple of years, but 
Marquette was tired of Washington, so he qualified, cast a few votes in two days 
and came home. 

ni-i'tcTAt. Ttos'ricu OF the tkuritory 

Guvcruor^. Francis Burt, October 16, 18.54; dieil October ISth. (Acting 
Gov. Thomas B. Cuming served in the following interim.) 2nd. Governor Mark W. 
Izard, Feb. 20, 1855; (Acting Gov. Thos. B. Cuming, served again after Gov- 
ernor Izard's resignation October 25, 1857). 3d. Wm. A. Richardson, January 12. 
1858 (Secretary J. Sterling Morton, acting governor from December 5, 1858, to 
May 2, 1859). 4th. Samuel W. Black, May 2, 1859 (with Morton acting governor 
again in 1861, February to May). 5th. Alvin Saunders, May 15, 1861 (with Sec- 
retary A. S. Paddock, as acting governor for a portion of the time from 1861-1867). 

Secret-aries. Thomas B. Cuming, August 13., 1854; John B. Motley, acting 
March 23-July 12, 1858, until the arrival of J, Sterling ^Vforton, who served from 
July 12, 1858, until May 6, 1861, and Algernon S. Paddock, May 6, 1861, until 


Atidifom. Chas. B. Smith_, Mar. 16, 1855; Samuel S. Campbell, Aug. 3, 1857; 
Wm. E. Moore. June 1, 1858; Robert C. Jordon, August 2, 1858; Wm. E. Harvey, 
Oct. 8, 1861 ; John Gillespie, Oct. 10, 1865. 

Treasurer. B. P. Rankin, Mar. 10, 1855; AVni. W. W.vnuui, Nov. 6, 1855; 
Augustus Kountze, Oct. 8, 1861. 

Librarians. James S. Izard, Mar. 16, 1855; IJ. ('. Anderson, Xov. 6, 1855; 

John H. Kellom, Aug. 3, 1857; Alonzo D. Luce, Xov. 7. 185!) ; Robt. S. Knox, 


Judiciary. Chief Justices were, Fenner Ferguson, October 12, 1854; Augustus 
Hall, March 15, 1858; William Pitt Kellogg, May 27, 1861; William Kellogg, May 
8, 1865 ; William A. Little, who died in office, 1866. 

Asmciaie Justices. James Bradley, Oct. 25, 1854; Edward R. Harden, Dec. 4, 
1854; Samuel AV. Black, 1857; Eleazer Wakely, April 22, 1857: Joseph Miller, 
April !l. 1859: Wm. E. Lockwood, May 16, 1861; Joseph E. Streeter, Nov. 18, 
1861 ; Elmer S. Dundy, June 22, 1863. 

Clerl-s were H. C. Anderson, 1856; Charles S. Salisbury, 1858: E. B. Clinndler, 
1859 ; John H. Kellom, 1861 ; William Kellogg, Jr., 1865. 

District Attorneys were S. A. Strickland, June 11, 1855; Jonathan H. Smith, 
June 9, 1855; D. S. McGary, May 10, 1855; John M. Latham, Jacob Safford, 
William Kline, Nov. 6, 1855; Jas. G. Chapman, William McLennan, George W. 
Doane, Aug. 3, 1857, U. C. Johnson, October 11, 1859. 

Delegates to Congress. Napoleon B. Giddiug, December 12, 1854; Bird B. 
Chapman, November 6, 1855, who defeated Hiram P. Bennett by a vote of 380 to 
292; Fenner Ferguson, August 3, 1857, who had received 1,642 votes to Chapman, 
1,559; Benj. P. Rankin, 1,241, John M. Thayer, 1,171 and 21 .scattering in a total 
of 5,634. Experience Estabrook. October 11, 1859, whose vote of 3,100 defeated 
Samuel G. Daily with 2,800; J. Sterling Morton, in 1860, with 2,957 votes, defeated 
Samuel G. Daily, who had 2,943; Samuel G. Daily, in election of 1862, with 2,331 
votes this time won out over John F. Kinney, who polled 2,180 votes; Phineas W. 
Hitchcock polled 3,421 over George L. Miller, 2,399 votes in the election of 1864, 

U. S. Marshals. Mark W. Izard, Oct. 28, 1854; Eli R. Doyle, April 7, 1855,-. 
Benjamin P. Rankin, March 29, 1856; Phineas W. Hitchcock, Sept. 19, 1861; andi 
Casper E., April 1, 1865. 








(1883-1887) — GOVERNOR thayer's administrations (1887-1891) — governor 
boyd's administration (1891-3) — governor crounse's administration 
(1893-5) — GOVERNOR holcomb's administration (1895-1899) — Nebraska in 





MINISTRATIONS (1913-1917) — GOVERNOR Neville's administration (1917-1919 ) 




The territorial survey lias brought Nebraska down to the point of her estab- 
lishment as a separate state. From this point on, March, 1867, we will make a 
brief survey of the State Government, first ; dividing it into the units of the admin- 
istrations of her various governors, perhaps as expedient as any other arrangement, 
and at the same time, carrying along the progression of the various activities, 
both chronologically and topically. 

Governor Butler's First Administration. The now Constitution (1866) 
provided that the senators and representatives, and the state officers should be 
chosen at biennial elections on the second Tuesday in October. But the election 
of the first set of officers took place on June 2, 1866. It was at that time 
Hon. T. M. Marquette was elected representative in Congress, over J. Sterling 
Morton, by a vote of 4,821 to 4,105. But the first regular election was held in 
October, 1866, even though the young state was still out of the Union, and it 
was then that Hon. John Taffc .secured 4,820 votes while A. S. Paddock received 
but 4.072 and the brilliant but eccentric George Francis Train but 30. The first 
state governor, David Butler by a vote of 4,093 defeated J. Sterling Morton with 
3,948. Associated with this first governor, furnished by Pawnee County, as the 
other state officers for ttie young state were: Thomas P. Kennard. secretary of 
state and libi-arian : John Gillespie, elected to jiass from territorial to state official 


family, as auditor; Augustus Kountze, treasurer, another of the territorial official 
family who was retained; Champion S. Chase, chosen for the new office of attorney- 
general. Governor Butler, a native of Indiana, who had lived in Nebraska since 1858, 
had a public record of service in both houses of the Territorial Legislature. He 
at once called a special session of the Legislature, in his proclamation of April 
4th, and that session convened May 18, 1867. This session was called for the 
purpose of enacting laws and amending of existing statutes to harmonize with 
the new order of government. 

Cliaiige in Capital. In the summer of 1867, the capital was formally moved 
from Omaha to Lincoln, in accordance with an Act of the Legislature passed the 
ycir |.ivvinu-. ( ;<,\ Butler, Auditor Gillespie and Secretary of State Kennard 
liihl li.vii rni|„,urivil (,, >,.l,.ct a site for the new capital, and after a thorough study 
ami iii\(>tigiili<>ii. Ii;i(l cliiisen Lincoln. 

1868. The contract for the erection of the State House was let on January 
11, 1868, to Joseph Ward, Chicago, for the sum of $49,000. The walls were con- 
structed of magncsiaii limestone from the Beatrice quarries in Gage County. The 
building was siinirii'iitl\ .(impleted for occupancy, so that by December 3, Governor 
Butler issued liis proclamation announcing the removal of the seat of government 
to Lincoln and the removal of the archives to that point. 

An extra session of the Legislature convened in Omaha on October 27th, to 
make necessary provisions for the election of presidential electors, the existing 
laws being defective in this respect. 

On November 3d, the citizens of Nebraska participated in the first national 
and state election. The republican state ticket triuinplied and bidught about the 
election of; presidential electors, supporting Gen. V. S. (iraiit fm- president and 
Hon. Schuyler Colfax for vice-president; T. M. Marquette, Lewis Allgewahr and 
J. F. Warner. For congressman, John TafFe with 8,724 votes defeated Andiew J. 
Poppleton, who had 6,318 votes. Foi- governor, David Butler was re-elected over 
J. R. Porter, by a vote of 8,576 to (I.:!!!!, .\long with them, were elected; Secre- 
tary of State, T. P. Kennard, Auditdr. .lolni (iillespie. Treasurer, James Sweet. 

GovERxoR Butler's Second Admixistratiox. 1869. The fifth session of the 
State Legislature (incorrectly named ''first regular session" on the t^tle page of the 
journal) met at Lincoln, the first session to meet there after the removal to that 
place. It met on January 7, 1869. The officers were, Hon E. B. Taylor, president 
of the senate; S. M. Chapman,' Secretary; and in the house, Hon. Wm. McLennan, 
of Otoe County, Speaker, and John S. Bowen, chief Clerk. No particular work 
•was laid out for this session and it was rather uneventful., Perhaps the most 
notable Act was the legislative establishment of the University of Nebraska, for 
which the corner stone was laid in September of that year, the contract having 
been let in August for the first building, to Silver and Son, of Logansport, Indiana. 
The completion of the Union Pacific Railroad was the most important event of this 
year, affecting Nebraska. 

1870. The sixth session of the Legislature, assembled February 17th. called 
as an extraordinary session for twenty specific purposes, first among which was the 
ratification of the proposed fifteenth amendment to the United States Constitu- 
tion. The measure of greatest importance was the provision for the erection of a 
state penitentiary. Immediately upon the close of the sixth session, the seventh 
session assembled at 8 :30 P. M. on March 4, 1870, Governor Butler having called 


it by proclamation issued that same day. The objects enumerated by the governor 
were the passage of a herd law, and the ratification of a contract made by the 
governor for the conveyance of certain saline lands to Isaac Cohn and John M. 
Evans. But this session did not result in the accomplishment of the governor's 

The state republican convention in August, 1870, nominated John Taffe for 
congressman, but due to his illness and not wishing to risk a second convention, 
nominated J. E. LaMaster as contingent, a custom sometimes later carried out and 
hereinafter referred to. In the fall election of 1870, Congressman Taffe won re-elec- 
tion over George B. Lake, and Governor Butler won re-election over John H. Crox- 
ton, and the remainder of the republican ticket was victorious. 

In October, 1870, Governor Butler appointed as delegates to the natifmal capital 
removal convention, at Cincinnati, October 25th. Alvin Saunders, D. J. McCann, 
W. E. Dillon, A. P. Cagwell, E. S. Dundy, C. H. Gere and E. K. Livingston. 
Like many another political dream, this did not transpire, and neither '"some 
point near Kearney, Xebraska." nor any other middle-western aspirant won this 
luscious prize. 

Governor Butler's Third Adjiixistr.\tiox. 1871. This administration 
started out with the eighth session of the Legislature, convening on January 5, 
1871. Hon. E. E. Cunningham, of Eichardson County, was president of the 
senate, and C. H. Walker, its secretary ; and in the House, Hon. Geo. W. Collins, 
of Pawnee County, was speaker, and Louis E. Cropsey, chief clerk. The first 
struggle in this session took place over the election of a United States senator, of 
course to be a republican, and this brought a fierce contest between the adherents 
of John M. Thayer, who sought re-election ; Phineas W. Hitchcock and Alvin 
Saunders, all of Omaha. With the aid <if twelve democratic members, Hitchcock 
bested the others and won the honoi-. rinvcrnor Butler in a message to this session 
urged woman suffrage, an achievement to be yet forty-nine years in its final and full 
arrival, nationally and in Nebraska. 

The Impeach iiie[nt of a Govenini: In <\\iU' of tlie rapid strides being made 
by this young state, everything was not to remain as serene as a summer day with 
her State Government. 

On March 1, 1871, a committee of the house of representatives appeared before 
the senate of the eighth legislative session and announced that articles of impeach- 
ment had been prepared charging Gov. David Butler with misdemeanor in office 
and looking to his removal. Secretary of State, William H. James, was immedi- 
ately notified to assume the executive functions, and the senate convened as High 
Court of Impeachment, on March 6th. With Governor Butler, appeared as his 
counsel, such illustrious legal lights of Nebraska's early bar, Clinton Briggs, T. M. 
Marquette and John I. Eedick. Hon. J. C. Myers, J.' E. Doom and DeForest 
Porter acted as managers of impeachment, with Experience Estabrook as counsel. 
Briefly summarizing the illegal and wrongful acts charged in these articles, stripped 
dl' all legal verbiage possible, the charges were: 

l-'irsl. Appropriating to his own use, a public lands warrant for -$16,881.26, 
made payable to Iris order, as governor, by the proper department in Washington. 

Second. That, of a warrant for $3,750 issued for services of one M. J. McBird 
as architect in furnishing plans and specifications for a state public building, said 
Butler arransred with McBird to receive only $2,000, and he, Butler, to retain 


$1,750. And that for $1,828.25 for other services, two warrants of $914.13 each 
were issued, one received by McBird and tlie other used by Butler. This count 
also narrated demands made upon D. J. Silver & Son in reference to the State 
University contract; the leasing of saline lauds to one Thomas F. Hall for payment 
of $5,000 to Butler; and a consideration of $750 demanded for appointment of 
Nelson C. Brock to ufTicc a> treasurer of the university board of regents, and an 
attempted bribe in eoiiiiiMUnii with location of state insane asylum. 

Third. Inducing .\iulit(ir Cillespie to issue two $1,000 warrants as being for 
Attorney Champion S. Chase, for services, but appropriated by said Butler. 

Fourth. That upon a contract for $88,000 with one Joseph Ward for building 
the insane asylum, when the woi'k was not completed upon the foundation in the 
time named, to be for $18,00(1, that he secured allowance of $45,000. 

Fifth. That as a member of the board of regents he did become a party to a 
contract to D. J. Silver & Son for university buildings far in excess of appropria- 
tions therefor. 

Sixth. That he falsely stated in response to a legislative resolution that he 
had deposited $16,881.26 received from the National Treasury. 

Seventh. That he instructed State Treasurer James Sweet to let Anson C. 
Tichenor have a $10,000 loan of school money, without the assent of state treasurer 
or auditor, and upon wholly inadequate and insufficient security. 

Eighth. Upon the appropriation of $648.13 of money from the Board of Immi- 
gration, paid into the treasury, but appropriated to his own use. 

Ninth. Improperly executing patents to seventy-five sections of state land, to 
the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad, granted by the Legislature to the Nebraska 
Air Line Railroad Company. 

Tenth. Sold a piece of land to one James Gerrens, for $1,020, of which he 
kept $1,120. 

Eleventh. Sold lots in Lincoln to Andrew J. Cropsey, for $2,400 retaining 
a portion to himself. 

To the above articles and specifications, Governor Butler made answer specifically 
and emphatically denying all articles, except the first, and to that he made a long 
answer in justification of his course; denying that he unlawfully and corruptly 
neglected to discharge his duties; that he did borrow the sum of $16,881.26 from the 
state, giving therefor mortgages in terms and under conditions specifically set forth 
in his answer. 

Space forbids a detailed account of the trial, but may it be noted especially in 
behalf of this first governor of the state that he was acquitted of every charge 
except the first. The narration of these charges herein has not been made so 
much for the purpose of easting any undue reflection upon Governor Butler, but 
to show the many pitfalls that waylaid the early government of this state, as of 
every other state in those formulative periods of the various commonwealths. No 
doubt, the punishment and disgrace felt by this political patriarch of the state's 
early governmental period was felt as keenly in the removal from office that resulted 
from the verdict of guilt on this one charge at first glance, almost the most trivial 
and unsubstantial of the group. Governor Butler remained under this cloud until 
the Legislature of 1876-77 ordered all record of the famous impeachment trial 
expunged from its records. 

The remainder nf tliis adniinistrafiiin, undci- the leadership of Seci'ctary of State 


James, was not to be without more stirring events. An attempt was next made 
to impeach Auditor "Honest John" Gillespie, but these charges were soon with- 
drawn and the matter dropped. 

An attempt was made in 1871 to ]irovi(li> the state with a new constitution, and 
a document formulated by a constitutional convention of that year, met defeat 
by a vote of 8,627 against to 7,986 for. It was generally conceded that certain 
amendments attached thereto, were not only defeated, but dragged the main effort to 
defeat with them. 

The eighth (adjourned) session of tlie Legislature, met on January 0, 1872. 
Much bitter and rancorous feeling had been engendered by the impeachment, or 
what his friends called persecution, of Governor Butler, by the attempt upon Gil- 
lespie, and many came to the defense of Butler, Gillespie and Kennard, the tri- 
umvirate regarded gratefully there, as guardians of the magic city, Lincoln.. The 
defeat of the Constitution of 1871 was followed with an attempt in this Legis- 
lature to gain re-submission, and the relations of Acting Governor (Secretary) 
James with some of the members was not the most cordial. A deadlock ensued 
upon a resolution looking to re-submission of the constitutional questions, and the 
house attempted to adjourn on January 24th. Acting-Governor James, by proc- 
lamation attempted to declare the Legislature no longer in session, and his action 
was resented by the senate, and when it reassembled on the 21st, took up the 
concurrent resolution of the house and agreed to it on the 24th, and then attempted 
to declare the office of governor vacant, and adjourned on the 24th. In the absence 
of Acting-Governor James from the state, his enemies got busy, and President 
of the Senate. Isaac S. Haseall, by a proclamation attempted to call the Legisla- 
ture in special session on February 1.5th, for certain purposes. Notified by tele- 
graph, James immediately issued a counter proclamation annuling the Haseall call 
for a special session. A few members assembled, and a test case lodged in the 
Supreme Court went against them, and another interesting squabble passed into 

Gov. Robert W. Furn.\s' Administr-^tiox. The election of 1873 brought to the 
executive chair of Nebraska, a man who had been identified with Nebraska political 
work since in 1856, he had removed from Ohio, and commenced the publication of 
the Nebraska Advertiser, at Brownville. With a record as colonel in the Civil 
war and Indian agent of the Omaha and Winnebago Indians, and very active 
record of very beneficent aid to agricultural and horticultural interests of the state, 
his entry into this high honor was welcomed. 

1873. The ninth session of the Legislature convened on January 9, 1873. 
This session was made memorable by the first contest over the submission of a 
prohibition amendment to the constitution. In February a resolution was intro- 
duced in the house for the removal of the state capital. Hon. W. A. Gwyer was 
president of the senate, and D. H. Wheeler, secretary; and in the house, M. H. 
Sessions, speaker and J. W. Eller, chief clerk. Governor Furnas vetoed a bill 
calling for another constitutional convention. The tenth session of the Legisla- 
ture was an extra one. beginning March 27, 1873, for the purpose of taking action 
on the boundaries of certain cnunties, more specifically (uitlined in Ihe chapter 
on county organizations. 

This year saw two destnu'tive events, sad chapters in Nelu-aska history, one 


the terrible Easter storm, more fully treated elsewhere in this work, and the other, 
the first decidedly noticeable, general invasion of the state by grasshoppers. 

IST-l. This year experienced a second general invasion of grasshoppers. The 
main event of this year was the general election, in which Silas Ciarber was 
elected governor, over Albert Tuxbury and J. F. Gardner. 

GovEENOR Garbkr's ADMINISTRATION. 1875. The eleventh session of the Legis- 
lature began January 7, 1875, with Hon. N. K. Briggs, as president of the senate, 
and D. H. Wheeler, as secretary and in the House, E. S. Towle was speaker, and 
G. L. Brown, chief clerk. Governor Garber had come to Nebraska from Cali- 
fornia in 1870, and settled in Webster County in 1870. He had a creditable war 
record, holding a captain's commission in an Iowa regiment. He had laid out the 
city of Red Cloud in 1872, been probate judge of Webster County and served that 
district as legislator. This session performed its most notable task in providing 
the state with a new constitution. It also witnesses a remarkable United States 
senatorial contest to succeed Senator Tipton, in which Algernon S. Paddock was 

The Constitution of 18T5. A constitutional convention was held in 1875, which 
devised a constitution that has served the State of Nebraska for forty-five years, 
and which is thereby worthy of some close examination and careful reflection, and 
some little honor is due to its members. This constitution was adopted by a vote 
of 30,202 for and 5,474 against. 

The vote upon this constitution is worthy of a place iu our reconl, as it aft'ords 
a good opportunity to pause and examine the growth of the state, and the numerous 
counties that had joined the Commonwealth since 1866. 

Counties For Against 

Adams 729 31 

Antelope 235 8 

Boone 75 63 

Bufl^alo 623 17 

Burt 523 ISO 

Butler 5()() 3 

Cass . 952 !)71 

Cedar 227 78 

Cheyenne 264 6 

Clay 786 3 

Colfax 630 VJ 

Cuming 830 12 

Dakota 262 35 

Dawson 313 2 

Dixon 363 46 

Dodge 859 218 

Douglas 1883 350 

Fillmore 642 10 

Franklin 382 5 

Furnas 266 5 

Gage 633 215 

Greelev 42 

Counties For Against 

(iosper 20 1 

Hall 949 4 

Hamilton 811 5 

Harlan 321 9 

Hitchcock 21 5 

Howard 227 

Jeft'erson 49S 5U 

Johnson 568 127 

Kearney 143 1 

Keith 30 

Knox 24:! 4 

Lancaster 2110 lOS 

Lincoln 463 Ki 

Madison 269 116 

Merrick ty.V-'' 19 

Xemaha 9 1 :) 161 

XuckoUs 1 1 1 1 

Otoe 610 !)!i!i 

Pawnee '>'i'' 113 

Phelps 44 

Pierce 69 27 

Platte 617 27 


Counties For Against Counties For Against 

I'olk .-.aT -M) Thayer :33o 10 

Kiehardson 1 i»!)l (iO Valley C.") 13 

Saline 12sl .'U Washington 16G 60a 

Sarpy 118 21)4 Wayne 59 1 

Sauiiilers 1110 1 TV Wei.ster 395 9 

Sewanl 928 3(5 York 766 6 

Stanton 44 96 30,202 5.474 

A condensed synopsis of this Constitution which has been in effect forty-five 
years, was prepared in 1880 by Harrison Johnson of Omaha, and is worthy of a 
place in even so brief a chronicle of the state as this one. 

"Distribution of Potcers. The powers of the- Government of this state are 
divided into three distinctive departments: — Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, 
and no person or collection of persons, being one of these departments shall exercise 
any power properly belonging to any of the others. Except as hereinafter expressly 
directed or permitted. 

Legislative: — The Legislative authoi'ity is vested in a Senate and House of 
Representatives. (Article IV was taken nfi with an enumeration of the various 
counties that should constitnti^ i\\c Iwcnty-six respective senatorial districts and fifty- 
two respective representati\i' distiirts. in years since past increased to twenty-nine 
senatorial districts and seventy-seven legislative districts, thus making this portion 
obsolete.) The membership of the House of Representativs was fixed at eighty- 
four, but could be increased by law; never to exceed one hundred, nor the Senate 
to exceed thirty-three. The Senate and House of Representatives in joint con- 
vention shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a majority of the members 
elected must concur therein. The Legislature shall not pass local or special laws 
granting to any corporation, association, or individual, any special or exclusive 
privilege, imunity, franchise, whatever. Lands under control of the state shall 
never be donated to railroad companies, ]irivnti' eiir]»rations, or individuals. 

Executive. The Executive Department sluill consist of a governor, lieutenant 
governor, secretary of .state, auditor of public accounts, treasurer, superintendent of 
public instruction, attorney general and commissioner of public lands and buildings, 
who shall each hold his office for the tenn of two years, from the first Thursday 
after the first Tuesday in January next after his election, and until his successor 
is elected and qualified. The governor, secretary of state, auditor of ])ulilic accounts, 
and treasurer shall reside at the seat of the government during their term of office, 
and keep the public records, books, and papers there, and shall perform such duties 
as may be required by law. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor 
or lieutenant governor who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and been 
for two years next preceding his election a citizen of the United States and this 
state. All civil officers of this state shall be liable for impeachment for any mis- 
clcnicaniir in office. The supreme executive powers shall be invested in the governor, 
who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. The governor shall be com- 
mander in chief of the military and naval forces of the state (except when they 
shall lie railed into the service of the TInited States), and may call out the same 
to excrute the laws. sii|i|)ress insurrection and repel invasiiui. In case of death, 


impeachment, and notice thereof to the accused, failure to qualify, resignation, 
ai)sence from the state, or other disability of the governor, the powers, duties and 
emoluments of the office, for the residue of the term or until the disability shall 
be removed, shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor 
shall be president of the senate, and shall vote only when the senate is equally 
divided. The salaries of the governor, auditor of public accounts, and treasurer 
shall be $2,500 each per annum, and of the secretary of state, attorney general, 
superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands and buildings, 
$3,000 each per annum. The lieutenant governor shall receive twice the compen- 
sation of a senator. 

Judicial. The judicial power of this state shall he vested in supreme court, 
district courts, county courts, justice of the peace, police magistrate, and in such 
other courts inferior to the district court, as may be created by law for cities and 
incorporated towns. The supreme enuit shall consist of three judges, a majority 
of whom shall be necessary to form a (|uiiniui or pronounce a decision. It shall 
have original jurisdiction in cases relating to revenue, civil cases in which the 
state shall be a party, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and such appellate 
jurisdiction as may be provided by law; at least two terms of the supreme court shall 
be held each year at the seat of the government. The judges of the supreme court 
shall be elected by the electors of the state at large, and their terms shall be six 
years, the state shall be divided into six judicial districts (which has since been 
increased to eighteen judicial districts with thirty-two district judges) in which 
each shall elect one judge, for a term of four years. Salary fixed for supreme and 
district court judges at $8,500. (By subsequent amendments raised, supreme 
court, $4,-500 and district judges, $3,000). Xo judge of the supreme or district 
court shall receive any compensation, perquisite, or benefit for or on iu-cnunt of his 
ofSce in any form whatever, ever act as attorney or counsellor at law . in any manner 
whatever: nor shall any salary be paid to any county judge. 

Educatiuii. The governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general and 
commissioner of public lands and buildings shall, under the direction of the legis- 
lature, constitute a board of commissioners for the sale, leasing, and general manage- 
ment of all lands and funds set apart for educational purposes, and for the invest- 
ment of school funds in such manner as may be prescribed by law. All funds belong- 
ing to the state for educational purposes, the interest and income whereof, only, 
are to be used, shall be deemed trust funds held by the state, and the state shall 
supply all losses thereof that may in any manner accrue .so that the same shall 
remain forever inviolate and undimiui.shed ; and shall not be invested or loaned 
except on U. S. or state securites, or registered county bonds of this state, 
and such funds, with the interest and income thereof, are hdreby solemnly 
pledged for the purpose for which they are granted and set apart, and shall not 
be transferred to any other fund for other uses. ?^o sectarian instruction shall 
be allowed in any school or institution supported in whole or in part by the public 
funds, set apart for educational purposes; nor shall the state accept any grant, 
conveyance or bequests, of money, land, or other property, to be used for sectarian 
purpose. The Legislature may provide by law for the establishment of a school 
or schools for the safe-keeping, education, ciupldyiuenl. rcfonnatimi ol' all children 
under the age of sixteen years who for want of jimpcr parental care, nr other 
cause, are growing up in mendicancy or crime. 


Coiitifies. Xo new county sliall lie formed or established by the Legislature 
which will reduce the county or counties, or either of them to a less area than 
400 square miles, nor shall any county be formed of a less area. Xo county shall 
be divided, nor have any part stricken therefrom without first submitting the 
question to a vote of the people of the county, nor unless a majority of all the 
legal votei's of the county voting on the question shall vote for the same. 

Railroad Corporations. Railroads heretofore constructed, or that may hereafter 
bp constructed in this state, are hereby declared public highways, and shall be 
free to all persons, for the transportation of their persons and property thereon, 
under suih regulations as may be prescribed by the law. And the Legislature may 
from time to time pass laws establishing reasonable maximum rates of charges 
for the transportation of passengers and freight on the different railroads in this 
state. The liability of railroad corporations as common carriers shall never be 

Municipal Corporations, ^o city, county, town, precinct, municipality or other 
subdivision of the state shall ever become a subscriber to the capital stock or owner 
of such stock or any portion or interest therein, or any railroad or private corpora- 
tion or association." 

The Bill of Bights of this Constitution has served its purpose sufficiently well 
that in 1920. the Constitutional Convention allowed it to remain intact, offering 
one or two changes and an addition. This wonderfully drawn document of twenty-six 
sections; 1, established equal rights of persons; 2, prohibits slavery; 3, provides no 
person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law ; 4, 
guarantees reli<;iiius freedom ; 5, guarantees freedom of speech and press; 6, provides 
trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and a jury of not less than twelve may be 
authorized; 7, search and seizure ehiuse: S. habeas ecirpus shall not be suspended; 
9, bail allowed except for treason and murder; 10. imlietment and information 
for criminal offenses; 11, rights of accused guaranteetl ; 12, no person compelled 
to give evidence against himself, or be placed twice in jeopardy: 13, justice shall 
be administered without delay: 14, defines treason, l.j, penalties restricted; 17, 
military power in strict subordination to civil power; 18, soldiers not quartered 
on citizen in time of peace; 19, right of petition and peaceful assemblage 
shall not be abridged; 20, no imprisonment for debt; 21, no private property 
taken for ]niblic use without just compensation; 22, free elections and use 
of elective franchise; 23. writ of eri'or fcirtified ; 24, appeals in civil cases not 
to be (leiiii'cl ; 2."i. no distinct imi td be made in jn'operty rights of aliens, and 
2(;. powers not enumeratcil in this constitution retained by the people. 

The personnel of this convention presented names of numerous members who later 
became very prominent in Xebraska's public affairs. The president of the convention, 
John Lee Webster, is forty-five years latea- one of the leading members of the Nebraska 
Bar and one of the steadfast patrons of X"ebraska's Historical Society and all 
elfoits to ]n-eserve Xebraska's records and story. Its secretary, Guy A. Brown. 
later served as clerk of the supreme cdurt and state librarian. A son of one mem- 
ber. A. .1. Weaver, of Eichardson County, in 1920, served as president of the next 
Constitutional Convention. Another lueudjer, 0. A, Abbott, also a member of the 
Convention of 1871, and the state's first lieutenant governor,_is still practicing law in 
(!rand Island, in 1921, after fifty-three years active practice at the Hall County Bar 
and indi'fatigably supported the 1920 series of amendments, with few exceptions. 



Three member;^ of this bodv beeame United States Senators, M. L. llayward, Chas. 
F. Manderson and C. H. Van Wyck. Two, J. E. Boyd and J. W. Dawes became 
governor of t\\v state. Several, Jefferson H. Broady, S. B. Pound, Samuel 
Maxwell, M. B. liet'sc. W. II. M linger, A. J. Weaver, became judges of the state and 
federal courts; and twn or tliicr became members of Congress, and a dozen others 
very prominent in the various walks of life. 
The iiienilier> ol this convention were: 

.lohii Lee Webster, President 

Jamts W. Dawes 
1\'. F. Stevenson 
■laool) Vallery, Sr. 
.7. E. Doom 
S. R. Foss 
('. II. Vail Wvek 
W. L. Diinlap 
.lelieisnn H. Brortdv 
S. B. Pound 
M. L. Hayward 
Charles H. Brown 
Isaac Powers, Jr. 
I). P. Henry 
S. F. Burch 
M. B. Reese 

B. 1. Hinman 
S. H. Calhoun 
W. M. Robertson 
M. R. Hopewell 
E. C. Cams 
Josiah Rogers 

C. E. Hunter 
T. S. Clark 

Guy A. Brown, Secretary 

C. L. Mather, Assistant Secretary 

]8T(j. The grasshopper scourge, which had continued thnnigh ls7."i. was 
still a ]RT]jlexing problem to the people of Nebraska, and m October nf this 
year a meeting of numerous western governors was called to di-iiiss this tnniblc. 
In the pdlitical campaign of this year Governor Garber was leiKimiuated and 

The twelfth session of the legislature was called to meet on December ."i, 1876, 
to ]iass upon the ([uestion of the legality of the election of Amasa CobI) to the 
othce of presidential electdi', and Judge Cobb was chosen by ballot, in Joint ((in- 
vention (if lidth bouses. The thirteenth session was held on the same day, Deccinlicr 
.5, for the ]iiirp(ise of canvassing the jiopnlar vote cast for the state ticket and 

1877. GovEKXoii Gauueks Skcoxd ADiiixisTiuTiox. Tile fiiurteeiith session 
of the Legislature convened in regular session, January •^. 187 7. The Senate, with 
the advent of the lieutenant governor as a state officer now took a little different 
form in its presiding officiate. Lieutenant Governor Otliman A. Abbott became 
the regular presiding officer. Senator George F. Blancliard became President 
pro tempore, and D. H. Wheeler was secretary. Li the House, Hon. Albinus 

(). A. 
Samuel Maxwell 
Andrew Hallner 
Luke Agur 
John McPherson 
J. I). Hamilton 
J. V. Be< ker 
W. IL JIunger 
James Harper 
J. K. Bovd 
,1. H. Penv 
Robt. B. Harrington 
Clinton Brigos 
C. W. Pierce' 
J. B. Hawlev 
H. H. Shedd 
S. M. Kirkpatrick 
A. H. C^onner 
George S. Smith 
John J. Thompson 
W. B. Cummins 
W. H. Sterns 
L. B. Thorne 

.1. 11. Sauls 
.V. (;. Kendall 
S. H. Coats 
V. U. Frady 
Charles F. Walther 
R. C. KIdridge 
. Joseph (iarlier 
.V. M. Walling 
J. ('.. Ewan 
C. H. (iere 
'1\ L. Warrington 
James Laird 
Henrv (irebe 
A. J.' Weaver 
('has. F. Manderson 
Edwin X. Grenell 
iL W. Wilcox 
Frank Martin 
(ieorge L. Griffing 
J. F. Zediker 
.\. W. ifatthews 
William A. Gwyer 


Xiiuce was sjieaker and P.. D. Slau^Hitcr. cliief clerk. In the usual contest for 
United States Senator, Kx-fiuMMiKir Alvin Saunders won. Another energetic 
attempt to remove the Capitnl tnim Limolii ensued, and failed, and this question 
quieted down until 1911. One nf thi' important pieces of legislation at this ses- 
sion was the passage of a lull rurliidilint;- tlic sale of intoxicating Jiquors within 
thri'c miles of any place where a religious .society was assembled for religious 
Hniship in a field or woodland. Grasshopper legislation played an important 
part. Other subjects were the creation of a state board of immigration, and 
provisions regulating the submission of amendments to the Constitution. 

1878. In May of this year, Judge Daniel E. Gantt, chief justice of the state 
supreme court died, and in a few days following, Hon. Aniasa Cobb was appointed 
to fill the vacancy on that court. The President approved the bill in June, to 
permit holding United States district and circuit court at Lincoln. Steps were 
taken in August toward the organization of a state historical society. 'Vhv lianner 
of the republican state ticket was led in this year by Albinus Xami' as the vic- 
torious gubernatorial candidate. 

1879. Governor K^xce's Ad.mixistiiatcon-. The Eighth T-egislatinv roii- 
vened in fifteenth session. January 7, 187lt, and adjourned mi February 2-"). 
Uieut. Gov. Edmund C. Cams, presiding over the Senate, with Hon. A\'illiam Mar- 
shall.' as jiresident pro tern., and Sherwood Burr, secretary: and in the House, 
Hon. C. P. Mathewson was speaker, and B. D. Slaughter again chief clerk. 
This legislature made provision that all impeachments of state officers should be 
trifil by the supreme court, excejit for supreme judges, by all district judges. 
The new United States court hduse and postoffice at Lincoln was completed and 
leady fdi- occupancy in January. .\ legislative investigation of the University was 
a feature of this year's sessi<in. K\-I'resiilent Grant visited Gmaha during Xovem- 
ber of this year. 

188(1. In the political campaign of this year, the republicans accorded a 
reiiomination to Governor Xance, wlm led the state ticket to victory again. 

1881. Governor Xan'ce's Siocono Administkatiox. The ninth legislature 
in sixteenth session convened January 4, 1881, and remained in session until 
February 26th. Lieutenant Governor Cams presided over the Senate, with John 
B. Dinsmore, of Clay County, as President pro tern., and Sherwood Burr, remain- 
ing as secretary. In the Hnuse, II. II. Shedd of Saunders County was speaker and 
B. D. Slaughter remained ehier clerk. \"an Wyck won the L^. S. senatorship 
over Paddock in this sessiun. The really important achievement of this session 
was the initiation of the Sloeiinili Law. This Act gave the local licensing boards 
discretionary power, and so increased the license fee, that it materially decreased 
the number of saloons, and for more than forty years remained a very effective 
weapon of regulation, until statewide prohibition came. The high skill of the work 
of Jcihn 11. Ames, and his colleagues .\le\ander H. Connor, of Kearney, and Stephen 
II. Calliiiun, III' .Xeliiaska (iiy. a> the eduimittee on revision which had this act 
in charge, and their assisting colleagues in this session of the legislature was 
allcMcd bv the fact that no chan.uv^ wi^re later made in this act. in more than I'orty 
year> ol its active usefulness. 

Thi^ year. 1881. saw the formal organization of a movement destined to grow 
into im|iortance. The FaiinerV .Mliaiice. Another (U'ganizal ion .lestined to play 
a pcr-istent part and put up a hopefnl stiu.gule for many years, was the Xebra-ka 


woman suffrage association, whicii had a 4!» year struggle before it was to see the 
full accomplishment of its liopes, in 1920. A woman suffrage amendment was 
jiushed tlirough the House in 1881, but a proliibition amendment failed that year. 
'i'his was a year of great floods, with Ihcir attendant distress and disaster, especially 
at Lineolii. Omaha, Nebraska City, llundioldl. IJnra. Sterlm-. and l!r,iwn\ ille. 
Ex-8enator P. W. Hitchcock, father of Nebraska's present V . S. Senator, (i. M. 
Hitchcock (1920), died on July 10th. 

1882. A .strike on the B. & M. Eailroad of laborers necessitated callinji- eight 
companies of militia and three companies of regulars in March. In April, Governor 
Xance called the Legislature to meet on May 2d in special session (the tenth 
special session), and it convened for a session of thirteen business days, terminating 
on ilay ■.'Itli. Its call showed among other purposes were to divide the state into 
three ctmgressidnal districts, regulate the jiowers of cities of first class, and assign 
Custer County: tn jirnvide (or ex]X'nses incurred in quelling the recent ridts in 
Omaha, mentioned above, and to give assent to the act of Congress to extend the 
northern boundary of the state. A report was made upon a voluminous investiga- 
tion of bribery charges that had been made, growing out of railroad legislation in 
the .'session of 1881. The men involved were acquitted, but the member in question 
and the lieutenant governor found to have merited the solemn criticism of the 
House, but the substitute motion providing for the same lost by one vote. This year 
saw the organization of a state anti-monopoly league at Lincoln, and also in the fall, 
an anti-prohibition convention was lieM at Omaha. A greenback convention was 
held at Lincoln, in September. 

We are now approaching a decade, in which for something less than ten years a 
series of unsuccessful attempts were made to procure reform legislation, and to com- 
bat the insidious hold that had been gained by the railroad interests ujx)n the poli- 
tical affairs of the state. This had been attained by a most liberal use of the 
"pass privilege" not only to state officials, legislators, court officials and employes, 
but to professional men and political workers in almost every community and in 
those days was hardly considered "wrong" as it is viewed in the early years of the 
twentieth century. The Omaha Bee, in these early years of the eighties often waxed 
very defiant of the "corporation control" of the dominant party, the republican. 
The republicans nominated James W. Dawes, of Saline County, for governor, and 
the democrats chose J. Sterling Morton. In their platform they attacked the 
issuance of free passes to public officers and sought legislation against the practice 
and generally denounced railroad interference with political conventions. Dawes 
easily defeated Morton, and the woman suffrage amendment to the constittrtion was 
defeated almost two to one. But the democrats elected their candidate for state 
treasurer this year. 

1883. Governor D.\ave,s' Ad.mi\isth.\tiox. The tenth legislature, in 
eighteenth session, convened January 2, 1883, adjourning on February 2C>. Lieut. Gov. 
Alfred X. Agee was president of the Senate, with Alexander H. Connor, of Buffalo 
County, president pro tem., and G. L. Brown, as secretary, succeeding Sherwood 
Burr, wdio had served for three terms. In the House, George M. Humphrey, of 
Pawnee County, was speaker, and D. B. Slaughter, for his fifth successive term, was 
chief clerk. Charles F. Manderson was elected United States Senator to succeed 
Saunders. The democrats instead of making hay while the anti-monojxjly sun >vas 
rising, supported their two strong, but rather reactionary ])arty leaders, Morton aiul 


J. E. Boyd. Of course, in those days, just as now, forty years later, each party had 
its two widely divergent elements, radical or progressive as now called, and ultra- 
conservative, or reactionary, as in modern parlance, termed. With four of her sons 
on the republican ticket holding a very even lead at the start, Manderson, Saunders, 
then senator, J. H. Millard and John C. Cowin, Douglas County was pretty sure of 
the prize. The construction of the new capitol was authorized at this session. 
Judicial districts in the state were increased from the constitutional number of six, 
to ten. Legislative investigation ensued for both the insane hospital and the 
penitentiary. An attempt to create a railroad commission passed the House, but 
failed in the Senate. A dozen other proposed measures reflected the growing anti- 
railroad monopoly feeling. The construction of the capitol was moving along. The 
west wing, finally constructed at a total cost of $83,178.81, was finished by the close 
of 1881, and Contractor Stout finished the east wing, at a final cost of $108,247.92, 
in 1882. 

1884. In their May convention the republicans of the state tabled, by a small 
margin, a motion to declare a preference for James G. Blaine. In the August con- 
vention, the republicans re-nominated Dawes for governor, while the democrats for 
a third time chose J. Sterling Morton, to face defeat. An amendment to extend 
legislative sessions carried this year, but the one to provide a railroad commission 
failed. The corner-stone of the state capitol was laid on July 1.5th. 

18S.T. Governor Dawes' Second Admixiste.\tiox. The eleventh legislature 
met, in nineteenth session, January 6, 1885. Its adjournment was on March 5th. 
Lieutenant Governor Shedd was president and Church Howe, president pro tern., 
and Sherwood Burr returned for another session as secretary; wiiile in the House, 
Allen W. Field of Lincoln was speaker, and J. F. Zedicker was chief clerk. There 
was a legislative investigation of school funds, and appropriations provided for 
many unfinished matters from prior years. 

1886. In January of this year, the supreme court decided that counties must 
pay for the upkeep of their insane patients. The republicans in this year chose 
General John M. Thayer as their successful standard-bearer, and his opponent was 
James E. North, of Columbus. 

1887. Governor Thayer's Administration. The twelfth legislature, nu't in 
twentieth session, on January 4, 1887, and stayed \intil Marcli 31st. Lieut. Gov. 
H. H. Shedd, presided over the Senate, with George D. Meiklejohn, of Nance 
County, as president pro tem., and W. M. Seeley as Secretary; while in the House, 
N. V. Harlan of York was speaker, and B. D. Slaughter, again chief clerk. A bureau 
of labor was established at this session, as was a state board of pharmacy. This 
latter consisted of the attorney-general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and 
commissioner of public lands and buildings. A state inspector of oils, at $2,000 
per annum was provided for. The labor bureau w^as one destined not to become of 
great importance until some thirty years later. These boards are mentioned at this 
])oint, mainly, as being the early members of a flock of such boards that sprang 
up in the following three decades. The old Constitution of 1875 fld not allow 
thr fciiiiiation of new executive offices. This wa,s circumvented, as the necessity for 
lurther bureaus and state departments became evident and pressing, by creating 
boards or bureaus, with the governor and other state elective officers as members, or 
head, and then providing for a deputy, or secretary, or inspector, who drew the 
salary, conducted the dciiarlmcni. and w:is ]nirticulnrly. the "'political general." 


This continued until in 1915, when under Governor Morehead, consolidation of 
these departments, and bureaus, then numbering almost thirty, was begun, and in 
1919, when under Governor McKelvie, the new Civil Administrative Code was 
enacted, around twenty such boards, commissions and bureaus still existed, and the 
Constitutional Convention of 1920 provided for the creation of new departments, 
and new executive officers, to do away with this process of circumvention, and dupli- 

The session of 188.5, provided for a three cent passenger fare, reducing the 
existing three and half and four cent a mile rates. The board of railroad com- 
missioners was abolished and a '-board of transportation" establi.shed. In January, 
1887, the first state convention of Woman Suffrage Society was addressed by 
Miss Susan B. Anthony. Algernon S. Paddock, who had been territorial secretary 
with Governor Saunders in the last years preceding statehood, was elected United 
State Senator, the office some years before held by Saunders. In ilarch of this 
year, George L. Miller retired from the editorship of the World-Herald. Dr. Miller 
generally allied with the faction of which Boyd was another leader and opposed to 
the Morton faction was a great factor in the party proceedings of those days. 
Arrayed likewise against the shrewd and aggressive Edward Rosewater, of the 
Omaha Bee, the keen rivalry, and what even might be termed feud, of those two 
great state newspapers was engendered. An asylum for the insane was located at 
Hastings in thi.s 1887 session. In October of this year. President Grover Cleveland 
stopped in Omaha. In November, the supreme court of the state upheld the power 
of the new board of transportation to fix rates. In this same month. Mayor A. J. 
Sawyer and the city council of Lincoln were incarcerated in the Douglas County 
jail, and fined for contempt by Judge Brewer, but ten days later released by order 
of U. S. Attorney General Garland. This action arose from a hearing before the 
city council in which the police judge was being tried upon charges of accepting 
fines from certain law violating interests upon immunity for their acts. During an 
adjournment after which the entire council was to pass upon the defendant's ease, 
the order was secured at St. Louis interfering with the council's course ; and when 
the council later removed the police judge and appointed another, the "fireworks" 

1888. In January, the U. S. supreme court reversed Circuit Judge Brewer's 
decision in the habeas corpus case of the Lincoln city council. The Union Pacific 
obtained an injunction to restrain the board of transportation from interfering 
with their scale of rates. January 12, Nebraska was visited by the great blizzard, 
elsewhere treated in this work. In February, the great railroad strike on the 
Burlington started, and in March, Judge Dundy granted the railroad an injunction 
against the strikers. This was a presidential campaign year, and in the outset, 
Nebraska took one notable part when John M. Thurston was made temporary 
chairman of the national republican convention at Chicago. Governor Thayer 
was accorded a renomination by the republicans, and his opponent was John A. 
McShane of Omaha. In their platform this year, the democrats began what 
developed into an habitual pounding of the republican creation, "a trust." 

1889. Governor Thayer's Second Administr.\tion. The thirteentii legis- 
lature met in eleventh regular session (dropping a count of the ten extra sessions) 
January 1, 1889, and remained in session until March 30th, the sixty-seventh day. 
Geo. D. Meiklejohn, the president pro tem., of the last Senate now presided in his 

170 iiis'i'oFJV OF xkp.i;aska 

r-k'iir riulit as lieutenant .uoveiiior. with Cliurcii Howe again president pro tern., 
anil \\". .M. Seeley again secretarv wiiile in the House, John C. Watson, of Otoe 
Count V. was speaker, and Bradner D. Slaughter, of Xance County, for the seventh 
and hist tinie was chief clerk. Agitation over Attorney-General Leese's report 
fav(]!iiii; throwing the Union Pacific Kailroad into receivership, selling it and hav- 
ing the state control it; over having a state railroad commission, and over the 
Omaha police commission law were features of the opening of this session. It 
was a fairly quiet, and somewhat reactionary session, ominous of 'the storm about 
tn lircnk tVirth in Nebraska politirs in the next few years. Among the three amend- 
ineiifs t(i the constitution which this h'gislature submitted, two respecting increase 
of supreme judges from three to five, and the salaries to $3,500 and district 
judges' salaries at $.3,000 the remaining one was the really important step of the 
session. This was the submission of prohibition to a vote of the people. The 
wording of this amendment was "The manufacture, sale and keeping for sale of 
intoxicating liquors as a beverage are forever prohibited in this state, and the 
legislature shall provide by law for the enforcement of this provision." The demo- 
crats oiiposed it and the republicans were somewhat divided. A. E. Cady offered 
an additional proposition, that "The manufacture and sale and keeping for sale 
of intoxicating liquors as a beverage shall be licensed and regulated by law."' 
Charles F. Manderson was re-elected IT. S. Senator, the first of Nebraska senators 
to be accorded a re-election to a full second term of another six years, Tipton hav- 
ing only served a partial term before his re-election. 

Forecasting the growing influence of the Farmers' Alliance movement, was the 
filing of articles of incorporation with capital stock at $150,000 of the Custer County 
Farmers' Alliance purchasing and selling corporation. Congressman James Laird 
died at Hastings, in August of this year. In September, the Union Pacific Eailroad 
employes at Omaha federated in the Brotherhood of Eailway Employees, anotlier 
movement portending future developments. In October, occurred the death of 
Hon. (iuy A. Brown, state librarian and clerk of the state supreme court. 

JSlMi. In January, the state board of agriculture located the state lair at 
Lincoln for five years; and the central shops of the Burlington were located at 
Havelock in the summer of this year. A conference of anti-monopoly republicans 
was held in May. This was the year in wdiich the populist outbreak started in 
Nebraska. On July 29th, a state convention met at* Lincoln, composed of representa- 
tives of the Farmers' Alliance, State Grange and Knights of Labor, and this body 
nominated for governor. John H. Powers, of Hitchcock County, president of the 
Alliance. Charles Tl. A'anWyck was his chief contender for this nomination, and 
then refused to take the consolation prize of a congressional nomination. To add 
to the growing confusion. Governor Thayer had in May issued a call for a special 
session of the legislature to convene on June 5th. Its purposes were to abolish the 
transportation boai'd, pass a maximum railroad rate law, adii]it the Australian 
ballot and iut u\»>\i currency legislation, 'i'he furore created by this move forced 
its recall and revocation within a week. The republicans in July nominated for 
governor, Lucius D. Richards, of Dodge County, and the democrats chose James 
E. Boyd. Another milestone in this year's campaign was the nomination for 
Congress in the first district of William .1. Hi-yan. Boyd for governor receive.l 
71,331 votes. Powers, 70.137, and so romplctr was the revulsion that Richards, the 
republican, ran third with fiS.STS. but tlie rest of the republican state ticket pulled 


through by small majorities, raogiug close to 4,000. To Congress the opposing 
candidates were elected and republicans beaten in each district, William J. Bryan 
defeating Win. J. Connell; William A. McKeighan defeating X. V. Harlan; 
Omer M. Kcni <lefeating both Dorsey, republican, ami W. II. Thompson, 
democrat. The prohibition amendment was defeated by a vntc uf .S'ii,293 for and 
111,728 against; a majority against it being but a few thousand more than the 
majority of over 22,000 east against it in Douglas County. During this year, the 
Citizens in the western part of the state were suffering from the loss of their 
ciops. Despite the denial of Governor Thayer in March that any of the people 
in Xebraska needed help, in April, the governor and Robert R. Greer, president 
of the state board of agriculture, appealed to the state to aid the settlers in 
Clieyenne, Kimball, Scotts Bluff and Banner counties, and in Xovember, the 
governor and the mayor of Lincoln joined in a call for a meeting to devise 
means to help these western settlers in the state. Rev. Geo. W. Martin was 
appointed superintendent of relief and Rev. Luther P. Ludden, superintendent of 
distribution of thi.s work, and about ten days later an advisory board and treasurer 
were apjwinted. In December, the citizens of Chadron appealed for protection from 
the Indians, and one of Governor Thayer's important official acts was to send 
to them one company of militia from Long Pine and order companies at Fremont, 
Tekamah and Central City to be in readiness. About a week later he had to order 
out another company of militia to quell impending riots in the legislative hall. 
The e-xit of Governor Thayer from the executive duties was occasioned with con- 
siderable stir and excitement. He refused to turn over the governorship to 
James E. Boyd, and fortified the executive offices. So the state had two governors. 
Thayer held down the regular e.xeeutive offices and Boyd established himself in the 
old board of transportation quarters. Thayer then applied to the supreme court for 
a writ of quo warranto against Governor-elect Boyd, and on January 15, Thayer 
vacated the executive offices, surrendering to Governor-elect Boyd, reserving any 
rights he might have thereto until the decision of the supreme court could be forth- 
coming. On February 6th the two governors delivered their message to the 

GovER.voR Boyd's Adjiixistratiox. 1891. The foui-teenth legislature con- 
vened in the twelfth regular session on January 6th, and renuiined in session for 
seventy-one days, the longest record then attained by any session, with adjournment 
on April 4th. Thomas J. Majors, so long a prominent figure in Xebraska govern- 
mental circles, was presiding officer of the Senate, as lieutenant governor, and W. A. 
Poynter, later governor, as president pro tem. ; with C. H. Pirtle as secretary ; while 
in tlie house, Hon. Samuel M. Elder, independent, of Clay County, was speaker, 
and Eric Johnson, chief clerk. WJtile in this initial campaign the independents 
had not won the governorship, they took all of the elective offices of both houses 
mitci tlicmselves. A controversy arose over the right of retiring Lieutenant- 
(iovcrnor Mciklejolm to jireside over the joint convention of tne two Louses, which 
was claimed by Speaker Elder, so that the election of Boyd might be declared. 
Then to add to the confusion, the contest of Powers against Boyd's election came 
on for hearing, based u])on a claim that while Boyd appeared to have a plurality 
of 1,114 votes over the other candidates, some 2,000 persons were bribed in Douglas 
County to vote for Hoyd. What a trial might have disclosed will never be known, 
for a most emphatic denial nf anv trial cut short this contest. The advent of Gov- 


ernor Boyd's administration, following the victorious battle of Wounded Knee, 
which brought into practicability the recall of the Xebraska troops upon advice 
of safety by Major General Miles, faced that situation fairly well cleared up. 
It was in this session that the Australian ballot act received its enactment. The 
census of 1890 made possible the increase of congressional districts from three to 
si-x, and of judicial districts from twelve to fifteen. A girl's industrial home was 
provided for at Geneva. There was appropriated $100,000 for the drought-stricken 
sections of the state ; the relief commissioners named were, Samuel M. Elder. Luther 
P. Lndden. R. E. Greer, Louis Meyer, George W. Martin, John Fitzgerald, Andrew 
J. Sawyer. Charles W. Mosher, J. W. Hartley and W. N. Nason. The Newberry 
Eailroad Bill, which was passed in the Legislature after a three-day deadlock, and 
then vetoed by Governor Boyd stirred np further confusion. While the political 
campaign of 1891 was in an off-year, it bristled with demands for an amendment 
providing for a railroad commission ; for relief from the exorbitant freight rates, 
with the "free coinage of silver" slipping in. In March, the state supreme court 
had ovcrrnled (iovernor Bnyd's iiintidii to (lismis>; the i|Ui>-\varranto case, and 
required him to answer, ami in May. tlir state siiiireme cnurt declared Governor 
Boyd ineligible to the office, ami Guvcrmir John JI. Thayer was re-instated, because 
Governor Boyd's citizenshi]i was (|ucstiiined. it being claimed his father's naturaliza- 
tion papers in Ohio were taken out after Boyd became of age. and did not thereby 
enfran.ehise tlif son. Pi'csidi iit Ilaniscni visited Xebraska in May of this year: 
Ex-Governor David Biitlci- di-npiicd diad at his home near Pawnee City, May 25th, 
and ill August. .Imlgc Oliver r. .Mason dird in Lincoln. 

^X'Xi. On Fclnnarv s. Isii".'. ihr Sui.rcme Court of the United States over- 
ruled the Nebraska rouit and dcclareil that (iovernor James E. Boyd was a 
citizen, and thereby elegible and entitled to the office of governor, and again 
the executive honors were s\\ itched li-oni Thayer to Boyd. A week later the demo- 
crats of the state gathered in Liueidn and celebrated the installation of Governor 
Boyd, and in April, the state supreme court denied the motion of Thayer to re-open 
this contest or case with Boyd. In this month, April, the U. S. Senate passed a 
bill reimbursing Nebraska for the moneys spent in the Sioux uprising the year 
before. On July 2d, the national convention of the People's Independent (Popu- 
list) party convened at Omaha, and there drew up a platform that in the succeeding 
thirty-eight years has ranked as one of the most wonderfully progressive and 
prophetic political documents in American political history. The republicans took 
a stand behind Senator Paddock for re-election and for Benjamin Harrison for 
President, and when the democrats met that year, a procedui-e that was to become 
a habit in after-years started, with W. J. Bryan stirring the convention and placing 
it up against knotty problems of remaining conservative or stepping ahead progres- 
sively. -Vlthough for a time properly squelched, Bryan nevertheless added his 
resolution for "free coinage of silver." But despite the stormy scenes and the 
dramaTic avowal of Bryan when questioned if he was not for Cleveland, Ifhat he was 
for Horace E. Boies of Iowa for President, the Cleveland forces maintained their 
position, and the majority report was adopted. The People's Independent con- 
vention for state nomination was held late in June and resulted in the nomination 
again of John H. Powers. The republicans chose former Supreme Court Justice 
lioreiizo Crounse, over Thonuis J. Majors, whose nomination had even been seconded 
by his old time political and personal Church Howe. Powers, the candidate 


ol' the lil•^t iudepfiidunt cuiivcutiuii, rufiused to stand for the same liuiior at tlie 
second people's independent convention in August, and Charles H. ^'anWyck, this 
time, won the nomination. In the democratic convention, a revulsion of sentiment 
caused largely by the veto of the ISTewberry Bill had swamped Governor Boyd. 
Samuel X. Wolbach of Hall and Frank P. Ireland of Otoe were under consideration 
for the gubernatorial nomination, but both withdrew and the plum swiftly went to 
J. Sterling Morton, arch-enemy to the Miller-Boyd faction. A truly aggressive 
campaign followed, with the election of C'rounse resulting; the vote standing 
Crounse, 78,426, YanWyck, 68,617 and Morton, 44,195. Bryan, for Congress, 
defeated Allen W. Field ; McKeighan was re-elected over William E. Andrews, and 
Kem defeated Whitehead, in the first, fifth and sixth districts respectivly. This 
campaign had been, enlivened by joint debates between Bryan and Field, and between 
McKeighan and Andrews, which still lurk in the memories of the older citizens 
of the state. Hon. G. M. Lambertson, a iXebraska citizen, who had served as 
counsel for the Interstate Commerce Commission, in December, 1892, assumed 
the duties of assistant .secretary of the treasury. 

GovEENOR Crounse's ADMINISTRATION. 1893. In January of this year, the 
Capital National Bank in Lincoln failed, and on February 1st, an indictment wa? 
returned against President C. W. Mosher. Out of this failure grew famous litiga- 
tion, the fag-ends of which are still in the courts, twenty-seven years later (1920). 
The fifteenth legislature met in twenty-third session (13th regular) on January 3, 
1893, and remained until April 8th. Lieutenant Governor Majors remained as 
presiding officer of the Senate, with E. M. Correll, of Hebron, Thayer County, 
as president pro tem., and H. A. Edwards, of Grand Island, as secretary. In the 
House, J. N. Gaffin, independent, of Saunders, was elected speaker and Eric 
Johnson again served as chief clerk. Another Newberry railroad bill fixing freight 
rates and classification was passed at this session. In the election for United States 
Senator, William Y. Allen, independent, defeated Senator Paddock. There had 
been many other candidates and John M. Thurston had once been within three 
votes of election. Impeachment proceedings, directed against Secretary of State 
John C. Allen, commissioner of public lands and buildings Augustus R. Humphrey, 
Attorney-General George H. Hastings and Treasurer John E. Hill, were launched 
by passage of a resolution through the House. The three attorneys chosen were, 
Stephen B. Pound, republican, William Iv. Greene, democrat, and George W. 
Doane, democrat, in place of Eleazer Wakeley, who did not care to serve. The 
specifications were mainly directed at acts of these officers as members of board 
of public lands and buildings, in relation to the conduct of the penitentiary, and the 
construction of a cell house there. The whole affair led to considerable investigation 
among the different state institutions. Gross corruption and mismanagement were 
found at the penitentiary, and even worse conditions reported at tiie insane asylum ; 
Superintendent Mallileu of the Kearney Industrial Home was exonerated from 
cha.rges of misappropriation of funds ; impeachment proceedings against Ex- 
Treasurer Hill, Ex-Auditor Thomas Benton were dismissed on the ground they 
Ivad retired from office, as was the rase against Attorney-Cienoral Leese, and the 
cases against Humphrey, Hastings and .Vllen were, dropped on tfclinical grounds, 
witiiout determination of the facts. 

Nebraska had for the time been" honored with a national cabinet port- 
folio, when J. Sterling Morton was appointed secretary of agriculture by President 


Cknulaiul. in 1892. On April 22. tlic employees of that depaitiiiuiit at Wa.-ihingtoii 
planted a white oak tree in the honor of this "father of Arbor Day." In July of 
this year, Pi-esident Mosher of the defunct Capital National Bank was sentenced to 
five years" imprisonment in the penitentiary. Legislation was started this summer 
to prevent the board of transportation from reducing freight rates. In September, 
Congressman W. J. Bryan introduced a bill for the guarantee of national bank 
deposits, which may have then been a futile effort, but wliiili forecast om- »( tlu> 
jirogressive reforms to come some twenty years later. 

1S94. Ill .laiiuary. the state suiireme court declared tbe law for dejiosit of 
state funds not in coiiHict with the Constitution. It was in this year that the 
terribly destructive hot winds, and lack of rain, destroyed the crops in the state 
and plunged Nebraska into the terrible, never-forgotten drought period. The repub- 
licans decided to buck the oncoming wave of radicalism with their stalwart conserva- 
tive, Tlionias J. Majors, while the people's indejiciidcnt party nominated for gover- 
nor, Silas A. llolcomb of Broken Bow. upon the lirst liallot. ami the democrats 
after endorsing William J. Bryan for U. S. senator s]3lit into two cam]3s; one 
staying by their colors and endorsing Holcomb, and thus taking the first step in 
fusion. The bolters went to another hall and nominated John A. McShane for 
governor. Tbe increasing bard times bad not only brought Bryan back to a posi- 
tion where be was endorsed by tlie party that so emphatically repudiateil him two 
years before, but they swept Judge Holcomb into tlie governor's chair. But fusion 
prevailed this time only on the head of the ticket, and except for Kem, the repub- 
licans won out in congressional contests. In November, 1804, Judge Brewer of the 
United States Circuit <'oui1 declareil the Newberry Bill unconstitutional. In 
December, Turner M. JIarquette, whose career in Nebraska political affairs dated 
from territorial days, died at Plattsmouth. 

Governor Holcomb's First Admixistr.\tiox. ISii,"). On January ">. Silas A. 
Holcomb, the first fusion or populist governor was inaugurated. The si.xteenth 
legislature, in twenty-fourth session convened this week, and adjourned April 5th. 
Lieut. Gov. Robert E. Moore, of Lancaster County, was president, with John C. 
Watson, of Otoe County, president pro tem., and T. E. Sedgwick, of York, secretary. 
Charles L. Richards of Tha3-er County was Speaker of the House, and W. M. 
Geddes, chief clerk. This legislature restored the sugar bounty repealed by its 
predecessor. It made an appropriation for drought sufferers, and a still larger 
one for supplying seed and food for teams during the spring of 1895. Illustrative 
of how far reaching the slightest acts or most thoughtless votes of a legislator 
may prove to be "chickens that long after came home to roost" — is the incident, that 
one member of this 1895 legislature voted against this seed measure and twenty- 
one years later when running for governor and calling attention to the fact that 
ho had once homesteaded in Nebraska, this "vote" was most decisively u.sed l\y the 

re was litlle real notabl,. legislation 
tbe r. S. seiiatoiship at the hands 

lotli the sugar liounty and ehieory 
\cliv. The governor ai)]iro\('(l a 

trodueed a lull in the rnited States 
nosiiion. In Manh of this vcar. 

opposition in coniri 
passed at this >essio 
of this session. C 

hilling to liis def( 
n. ,l,,lin M. Thui 


lioiinlv hill, and \ 

i..lh were passed 


lb,. -ohIeiinMl as th, 

1- \ehlM>k,-i ,is "tn 
•■ -tate tlowcr. 


1,s!m;. In.lanna 

,rv, S,.nalor \V. W 


senate proMding U 

.r a Tran^-MisM> 



Senator Allen declined to be populist candidate for president. But a few months 
later, another Xebraskan, most unexpectedly to the country iu general, won the 
democratic nomination, and the campaign of 1896, between William McKinley of 
Ohio, and William .Icnniii^s liyraii. was one that will never be forgotten by any 
citizen, iivci' live years (if aj;v at that time, as long as he can remember anything. 
In March. State Eimiiicci- It. M. llnwcll resigned from the state board of irriga- 
tion. Eighteen years later lie was the guhernatdi'ial candidate of the 
republican party. The re|iul)lieaiis in Nebraska in convention on April 
l.Mh. declared ' r,,r William .M.l\iiilev fnv president. May i:)th. W. J. 
Byran and Edward i;..sewater debated the c,uestion cf free sdver at Onndia, and 
on .Inly ;ii'il. Byran debated this (|uesti(.n with John P. Irish at Crete, and one week 
later, he was nominated for president at Cliieago. July 17th, Lincoln had a wild 
demonstration in honor of its presidential eandidate. Byran was nominated by the 
silver republican natidnal eonventidu at Si. L.mis ,.n .Tnly •.'Itli, anil (,n .Inly 25th, 
with Watson, hy the |ii.piilist iiatidiial cdnvciiticm. In Ndxemher. Nebraska gave 
her own eamlidatc her electoral vote, but he met defeat in the natidii. In the 
state eani|iaii:ii. the republicans duplicated the conservative ilaj<ii"s iidiiiination of 
1S!)4. with that df an alleged railroad adherent, John H. McCall nl' Dawson 
C.unty. whd was .lelVated bv (idveriidr lldlediuh. In the ediigressional contests, 
the ri'publicans saved .1. I!. Strode in the first and David 11. .Mercer in the second 
districts: and the fusionists won Samuel Maxwell, over L. Hammond; William 
E. Stark defeating Eugene J. Hainer in the fourth ; Roderick D. Sutherland over 
William E. Andrews in the fifth, and William L. Greene over Addison E. Cady in 
the sixth. 

GovERNOi! Holcojib's Si'X'OND Ai).MixisTi!.vTiox. 1.SU7. The seventeenth legis- 
lature met in twenty-fifth session, January 5th and remained until April 9th, 
Lieut. Gov. James E. Harris was president of the senate, with Frank T. Ransom, 
silver republican, Douglas County, as president pro tem.. and W. F. Sidiwind, as 
secretary. In the house, James .N. (iaffin. independent, of Saunders Connty, was 
elected to the speakership he bad lield four years hefcu'e. and V. D. Eager w^as 
chief clerk. This session threatened to pass some of the reform legislation to be 
forthcoming in a decade or so, such as anti-pass and two cent passenger fare bills, 
but failed. It did accomplish a stock yard regulatory measure. In January, 
President Cleveland and his cabinet decided that the Union Pacific Railroad must 
be sold, and a jietitidii for foreclosure of the government mortgage on that road 
was filed in the office of clerk of the United States Circuit Court. In February, 
the Legislature appointed a joint committee to make recommendation concerning 
defalcations and embezzlement by Ex-Treasurer Joseph S. Bartley, who was soon 
thereafter placed under arrest, as was likewise Ex-State Auditor Eugene Moore. 
Another conflict in this session arose from the sargent-at-arms and a committee of 
the house of representatives seizing the ballots from the .state canvassing board, 
and the state supreme court denied a writ of mandamus to compel the canvassing 
board to continue a recount of the ballots on certain constitutional amendments. 

In April George D. Meiklejohn was appointed assistant secretary of war by 
President McKinley. The Trans-Mississippi exposition was formally dedicated on 
AjM-il 22nd, by laying of the corner-stone of the arch marking the entrance to the 
grounds. In June the state supreme court decided that the constitutional amend- 
ment increasing the number of judges of that court from three to five bad not 


been adopted by tlie peopk-. On Jmif ^(Jth, Ex-Treasurer Bartley was sentenced 
to twenty years in the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $303,708.90. On June 29tli, 
another wheel horse of Nebraska republicanism was rewarded, Church Howe being 
appointed to consul-general post at Apia, Samoa, which post was taken by Judge 
Osborne of Blair and Howe given a better location at Palermo, Italy. In Septem- 
ber E.\-State Auditor Moore pleaded guilty to embezzlement, and ou November 
30th, was sentenced for eight years in penitentiary. E.x-United States Senaioi- 
Paddock died in October at his home in Beatrice. Ex-Auditor Gillespie of terri- 
torial and state government died in Lincoln on December 19th. December 20th, 
suit wa? filed by the state against Bartley and his bondsmen for $335,000, of 
school funds lost, and the week later the state sued Omaha National Bank for 
$201,884.05 arising out of the Bartley defalcation, and on January 5, 1898 the 
Supreme Court affirmed the judgement of the lower court in the Bartley case. 

1898. In February, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of $100,000 expo- 
sition bonds voted by Douglas County. In February, the Supreme Court reversed 
the conviction of Ex-Auditor Moore and he was released. In the same month, the 
bondsmen in the Bartley case won a verdict, and an indictment was returned by a 
grand jury against Moore on another matter. 

JVebrasl-a in the Spanish- American War. In this year the Spanish-American 
war broke out, and on April 25th, Nebraska was called upon to furnish two 
regiments of infantry. The First and Second Nebraska regiments of national 
guard were ordered mustered in at Lincoln at once. 

On May 14th, Governor Holcomb proclaimed the Trans-Mississippi exposi- 
tion opening day, June 1st, a public holiday. On May 16th, the First Nebraska 
regiment entrained for the Philippines. This regiment went into its Philippines 
cam]). July 17. 1898. It participated in an attack ou Manila on August 13th, 
and toiik ]iart in numerous other engagements. It was mustered out at San 
Francisco, August 23, 1899. It had a total enrollment of 1,376. Its colonel was 
John P. Bratt ; its Ijeutenant colonels were George R. Coulton, Frank D. Eager and 
Majors John M. Stotsenburg, H. B. Mulford, Fred A. Williams, Wallace C. Taylor 
and J. N. Kilian. The second Nebraska entered into service in April, 1898, and 
remained until mustered out on October 24, 1S98. It was ordered to Chickamauga 
Park, Georgia, and lost twenty-six by death and eight by accident and was denied 
actual fighting service. Col. C. J. Bills was commanding, with Emil Olson, lieutenant 
colonel and as Majors AVilliam S. Mapes and Ernest H. Tracy. It has enrolled a 
total of forty-six officers and l.oilfi .Milistcd nien. The third Nebraska was organ- 
ized with Col William Jennings Bryan at its head. On July 13. 1898. it went 
to Jacksonville, Florida, and thence to Havana, Cuba. In April. 1899, it came 
back to Augusta, Georgia, and was mustered out. Victor Mfquain and Joliii 
H. McClay were Lieut. Cols, and Majors were Conrad F. Scharman and Harry S. 
Dungan. Troop K of Milford, under Ca])t. Jac.b H. Culver. ..ruani/ed as Troop 
A, Cavalry went to Chickamauga. and was mustered out in Se|itenilier. IS'.lS. 

The Trans-Mississippi Exposition was successfully conducted during the balance 
of 1898, and held over until 1899. The executive committee who so ably assisted 
President Gurdon W. Wattles in the successful accomplishment of this venture, were 
Z. T. Lindsay, Edward Eosewater, Gilbert M. Hitchcock, E. E. Bruce, A. L. Reed. 
F. P. Kirkendall and W. N. Babcock. This wonderful show contributed very 
much toward advertisincr Nebraska most tliorongblv to the entire nation and even 


the world. In June, the supreme court reatiirmed the Bartley conviction, and in 
July, he started to serve his twenty year sentence. The state campaign was not 
entirely lost sight of in this war and exposition year, and the populists, democrats 
and silver republicans "fused" upon the nomination of William A. Poynter as 
governor, and in the fail election he defeated Monroe L. Hayward for governor. 

GovEKNOR Potnter's Adminlstration. 1899. The Legislature which met this 
year saw the return of the republicans to power in legislative halls. With Lieut. 
Gov. E. A. Gilbert of York as presiding officer of the senate, Adolph E. Talbot of 
Lincoln was president pro tem., and Alpha Morgan, republican. Broken Bow, secre- 
tary ; and in the house, Paul F. Clark of Lancaster County, was speaker, with 
John Wall, of Arcadia, Valley County, as 'chief clerk. Hayward, defeated for 
governor, was elected United States senator, but died on December 5, 1899, without 
qualifying. Charles E. Magoon, another republican faithful of Nebraska, was 
appointed in January, solicitor for customs and insular division of the war department 
at Washington. Governor Poynter vetoed a bill passed in this session providing for 
Supreme Court conmiission, and signed a bill locating the state fair at Lincoln. 
Col. John M. Stotsenburg of First Nebraska Volunteers was killed on April 23rd, 
in a charge upon the Filipinos at Quingua, and on May 28 his body lay in State in 
the State Senate chamber. In July, 1899, a jury in the case of the State v. the 
bondsmen of Ex-State Treasurer Bartley returned a verdict of $616,382.43 against 
the bondsmen, releasing Mrs. Fitzgerald from her liability. The First Nebraska 
regiment returned to San Francisco on July 29th, with the record of having lost 
more men (sixty-two in all) in the Philippine campaign than any other regiment, 
except one, of regulars. In September, the $600,000 Bartley bondsmen judge- 
ment was appealed. On November 1st, Ex-Governor Alvin Saunders died at his 
home in Omaha. Following the death of Senator Hayward, on December 5th, 
Governor Poynter appointed Ex-Senator W. V. Allen as United States Senator 
until the Legislature should elect a successor. In December, the State Supreme 
Court reversed and remanded for further trial the Bartley bondsmen case, and also 
the suit against the Omaha National Bank. Petitions for the release of Bartley 
were commencing to circulate, and early in January, 1900, the Supreme Court 
decided that the state could recover from insurance companies the fees paid Ex-Audi- 
tor Moore and retained by him, in amount of $23,000. 

1900. In March, the State Supreme Court granted a rehearing in the Bartley 
bondsmen case, and the state in that month, by decision of Judge Baker, lost its 
$200,000 suit against the Omaha National Bank. Politics in this year did not 
reach the height of fervor they had in 1896, but Nebraska again had a presidential 
candidate. W. J. Bryan was for the second time nominated by the democratic 
party, but as he was running against President McKinley, the handicap was greater. 
The issue had changed from free silver, 16 to 1, to Imperialism. The electorial vote 
of Nebraska was switched to McKinley by a majority of apjiroximately 8,000. 
Governor Poynter polled a vote of 113,018 Ijut his ojiponent, Cliai-les H. Dietrich, 
of Hastings bested him a few hundreds, with a vote of 113,879. The fusionists 
retained four districts on congressional elections, electing John S. Robinson, third, 
William L. Stark, fourth; A.shton C. Shallenberger, fifth and William Neville, 
sixth, Init Klincr .1. B\n-kctt. lii'st and David H. Mercer second, rcpiililicniis, won. 
In Oc'tobrr (.r this year, Kdward Roscwater. ol the Bee, and (iillint M. Hitchcock, 
of the Worhl-licrald had held a \cvy interesting joint debate on the issues of the 


day. On December 18tli, tlie kuliiainnti- of a son of Edward (.'udaliy. the million- 
aire Omaha packer, by Pat Crowe, with a payment of .$2.5,000 ransom monev was 
an event that became noteworthy iu the criminal annals of the state. 

GovERXOBS DiETRiCH-SAV.UiK Ai)M I MsTiiATKiN s. IIHU. Iu .Jannarv of this year, 
W. J. Bryan began the publication (jf a weekly pa]ier. •■The Commoner," and in 
February, Judge Samuel Maxwell died at his home in Fremont. He had been a 
member of the territorial Legislature, the first constitutional conventions, 1864-18;i : 
first State Legislature, served the longest term of any Xebraska state jurist on her 
Supreme Coiiit and >ci\cil in Congress. The nineteenth Legislature, in twenty-sev- 
enth session ]iict in .laimary of this year. .T. C. F. McKesson was secretary of senate 
and John Wall chief clerk of the house. Its main feature was one of the most 
picturesque senatorial contests ever staged in Nebraska. David E. Thompson, 
of Lincoln, afterwards Ambas.sador to Mexico, had for more than a year been leveling 
his enemies and corralling his friemls ami Iniilding fences for this contest and 
started out as the most formidalile camlidate. His strength at one point arose 
to .50 votes; six short of success in the republican caucus, and while he was forced to 
withdraw on March 28th, he still had strength enough to dictate the final course. 
The democrats or fusionists were backing Senator William V. Allen, incumbent 
of the term left vacant by Senator Hayward's death with fifty-seven votes, and 
William H. Thompson, for the full term, with fifty-eight votes. A switch gave 
Cilbert :\I. Hitchcock fifty-seven votes at one time. Edward Eo.sewater held a 
block of 14 to l(i votes most of the time, which grew to thirtj'-two on the fifty- 
third ballot. The final outcome was the withdrawal of D. E. Thompson, and the 
election of (Jcjxcinoi- Dietrich to the unexpired Hayward term. For the full term, 
Joseph H. Millard, a very prominent banker of Omaha, was cho.sen. So u]ron 
]\ray 1st, Lieut. -(iov. Ezra P. Savage of Custer County became governor, when 
(iovernor Dietrich assumed the senatorsliip. In .May. Ex-Secretary of State W. F. 
Porter was sued by the state for .$1,. 518. 8.5 of fees under the "cattle brands law." 
In July of this year, came the event that stirred Xebraska to its depths and made 
Governor Savage .so unpopular that upon his retirement from the executive chair, 
he removed from the state shortly afterwards — this was the parole of Ex-Treasurer 
Bartley for sixty days. This stir was deep enough that in l!»n, ten years later, it 
sprang forth in a L^nited States senatorial campaign. On August 27th, Governor 
Savage made a public statement of his reasons for this action, but on the next day 
revoked the parole at the request of the rei)ublican state convention passed by a 
v(]te of !i!iS to 1<;5. In Septenibci- of this year, Nebraska with the remainder of 
the Union suffered a shock fi'oni the a.->a.-.-ination of President McKinley. In this 
same month. Judge Smith McPherson, of the Federal Court, declared unconsti- 
tutional three laws enacted by the 1897 Legislature, the anti-trust, stock yards 
rates and the insurance compact laws. In October, the State Supreme Court 
declared that the democi-;its and populists nuist eaih have a separate circle opposite 

their names on the bal 

lot, and from the moment of this des 

truction of fusion, the 

days of electing popiil 

ists waned, and the democrats stayer 

d out of office to any 

great extent for about 

eight years longer. 

I'.m. On .January 

1st. (Joveruor Savage, insistent upoi 

1 having his own way. 

granted a full pardon 

to l-;\-S|aie Treasurer Bartley. On 

this day occurred the 

death of W. H. B. Sto 

ut. a member .if the 18G8 Legislatun 

■, who had constructed 

the State Capitol and 

penitentiary. Acting Governor (Lie 

ut.-Gov.) C. F. Steele 


declared January "^iltli, ilcKinley Day, a lioliday. Governor Savage did not stand 
for re-election, withdrawing from the race in April. John H. Mickey, of Polk 
County, won the republican nomination and was elected over William H. Thompson, 
of Grand Island, by a vote of 96,471 to 91,116. The republicans won all congress- 
ional seats except the second, in which Gilbert M. Hitchcock displaced David H. 
Mercer; the others were, Burkett, first; and other four districts, John J. McCarthy, 
Edmund H. Hinshaw, George W. Norris and Moses P. Kinkaid. Two of these 
si.x congressman, Norris and Hitchcock, have been Nebraska's two senators at 
Washington since 1915, and Kinkaid has served continously since 1903 from the 
Sixth district. In June of this year, the State Supreme Court held the Bartley 
bondsmen were liable for any shortages. G. M. Lambertsou died in June. 

GovEENOU Mickey's First Administkatiox. 1903. In January, the State 
Su})reme Court relieved the Omaha National Bank from liability in the Bartley 
case. The Legislature of this session met, with Lieut. Gov. C. F. Steele again 
presiding over the senate, and W. H. HarrLson, of Grand Island, as president pro 
tern., and A. R. Keim as secretary and John H. Mockett, Jr., of Lincoln, was speaker 
of the house and John Wall was again chief clerk. During this session the house 
^idipanised Ex-Governor Savage, Ex-Treasurer Bartley and R. J. Clancy to appear 
and answer questions in an investigation. Governor Mickey approved a resolntion 
which petitioned Congress to pass an Act giving each homesteader 640 acres of 
land. Ex-Congressman Neville of the Big Sixth had been working on this during 
his term there, but after he went into office. Congressman Kinkaid took np the 
matter and stayed with it until its successful passage, in April, 1904, and it became 
known a.s the Kinkaid Law, and further than that, the homesteads became called 
■"Kinkaids" and the homesteaders themselves pretty generally known as "Kin- 
kaiders." President Theodore Roosevelt visited the state in April and again in 
June. A teamsters" strike in Omaha in May brought forth a visit of the governor 
and injunctions issued against the strikers by Judge Munger of the Federal Court 
and against the employers by Judge Dickinson of the State District Court. A 
settlement of the Bartley case was attempted by the bondsmen in August and 
rejected by the state but in Xdveudier. another dei-isiim came forth exonerating 
the bondsmen from liability. 

1904. General Victor \'il(|uain died in January. In February, Senator Diet- 
rich called for an investigation of a senate committee and received exoneration. 
Three months before then. Judges Munger and Vandeventer had acquitted him of 
a federal grand jury indictment ('barging he had received moneys for post office 
appointments, it developing the transactions took place before he became a senator. 
In May of this year, after a contest in which Victor Seymour and W. B. Rose 
had also sought the appointment, H. C. Lindsay of Pawnee County, who had 
served in the state senate and as chairman of republican state committee received 
the appointment of clerk of the Supreme Court and State Librarian, which posts 
he has retained contiuously since then. In September, occurred the death of 
Charles H. Gere, editor and founder of the State Journal. This year turned 
out to be probably the high tide of republicanism. In national airair-, tlic rr|iul)li- 
cans won the presidency, and all the congressmen electing E. 'S\. I'ullanl. -Idhu L. 
Kennedy, and re-electing the other four mcnibei's. Goxcrnur !\lirkcy was re- 
elected, over George W. Berge, fusioni.«t. 

GovEiixoR Mickey's Second AD:MiNis'ri;.\ri(>v. l!i()5. This l^'u-islaturc was the 


heyday of repiiblicanisni. Every member of the senate and all but nine of the 
hundred representatives were of that faith. Lieut.-Gov. E. G. MeGilton of Omaha 
presided over the senate, with W. H. Jennings, of Thayer County, as president pro 
tern., and \Vm. M. Wheeler as secretary and George L. Eouse, of Hall County, as 
speaker, and John Wall as chief clerk. This Legislature set about to do some 
reform work, catching the growing spirit of progi-essivism sufficiently to lay the 
foundation for the wonderful record of the next succeeding Legislature. Senator 
George L. Sheldon, of Cass County, introduced a measure to provide two mills for 
the payment of the State's two million dollar del)t. and his firm, agressive stand 
against railroad passes to public officials, and primary elections for public offices, 
brought him the governorship at the next state election. Elmer J. Burkett won 
the United States senatorship on the first ballot. Ex-Governor Silas Garber 
died on January 12th, at his home in Eed Cloud. Senator Geo. W. Shreck of 
York Coxinty introduced another bill in this session, destined to grow into a formid- 
able issue, the county option question. Not ready to come to a full dose of progress 
medicine, the senate killed Senator Sheldon's anti-pass bill, in March. Ex-Governor 
Furnas died on June 1st, and on July 5th, Ex-Supreme Judge (General) Amasa 
Cobb died. On October 28th, Ex-President Grover Cleveland gave the principal 
address at the unveiling of a statue of J. Sterling Morton at Nebraska City. The 
sugar bounty Act of 1895 was held unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court, 
in November. On December 6th, the State Supreme Court, released the bonds- 
men of Ex-Treasurer Bartley, and the state lost over half a million dollars by 
this decision. 

1906. In Februai-y, a jury at (")nuilia aei|uitted Pat Crowe in the Cudahy 
kidnaping case, and Judge Sutton denounced the verdict as disgraceful. On 
March 19th, occurred the death of Ex-Governor and Ex-Senator (General) John 
M. Thayer. In April, Governor Mickey issued a proclamation asking the people 
of Nebraska to aid the sufferers from the San Francisco earthquake. The state 
Campaign of this year showed a decided turn about on the part of the republican 
jiarty from its conservative stand of the preceding decade. It nominated George 
L. Sheldon for governor and chose Atty.-Gen. Norris Brown of Kearney for 
United States senator and promised a full list of progressive measures. Brown 
triumphed over Edward Rosewater and Joseph H. Millard in the senatorial con- 
test. On September 5th, the citizens of Lincoln and Nebraska generally welcomed 
W. J. Bryan upon his return home from a trip abroad of over a year in which he had 
travelled in many countries. 

Governor Sheldon's Adiiinistration-. 1907. As the last otticial act of his 
administration. Governor Mickey granted a full, unconditional jiardou to Mrs. Lena 
Margaret Lillie, who had been convicted of the murder of her husband, Harvie Lillie, 
in Fillmore County. Governor Sheldon, who had defeated Ex-Congressnum Ashton C. 
Shallenberger, took office with a thoroughly sympathetic legislature at his call. B. H. 
Gould was secretary of Senate, and in the House D. M. Nettleton of Clay County, 
speaker, and Clyde H.Barnard, chief clerk. This legislature broke all records, and has 
times without number been referred to as the most progressive legislature Nebraska 
ever enjoyed. It started in on the railroad question, and passed a two cent passenger 
law, a stringent anti-pass law; a railroad employer's liability law; a terminal railway 
taxation Liw ; mileage book law; a minimum freight rate law, express regulation 
law, and tlien delved into general subjects, and passed the direct primary law. 


under which the first primary election in Nebraska was held September 3, 1907. It 
passed a pure food law, and an anti-lobbying law, and fully met the wishes of the 
reform governor who posted a chart of the platform upon the wall of his office and 
checked off each pledge as it was redeemed. One law of this session, tliat prohibiting 
brewers from having a financial interest in saloons, furthered an alignment of the 
liquor interests with the democrats in the next election. Some of the other pieces 
of legislation named above also aroused the bitter antagonism of various political 
leaders and strong interests, and the combination of these factors served to reward 
Governor Sheldon with defeat at the next election. In February, 1907, Thomas 
C. Hunger, a faithful republican wlieelhorse, was appointed judge of the new second 
United States District Court, of N^ebraska. In June, Attorney- General W. T. 
Thompson filed suits in the state supreme court to restrain the railroads from 
enjoining the two-cent fare, maximum freight rates, anti-free pass laws, and defying 
the order of the newly created railway commission, established by a constitutional 
amendment carried at the election of 1906. A similar injunction soon followed to 
interfere with the express companies charging higher rates than those prescribed by 
the new law, and they countered with an attempt at injunction, but Judge Hunger 
denied them an injunction against the railway commission and the Sibley Act. 
A long litigation also ensued over the grain rate law. In November of this year, 
W. J. Bryan announced in his Commoner that if the rank and file of the party 
demanded it, he would make a third race for the presidency. 

1908. The republicans of the state very early in the year began to express their 
preference for Secretary Taft for President. In February, Ross L. Hammond, a 
strong party worker, and editor at Fremont, was appointed collector of internal 
revenue. A national corn-show was projected and very successfully held at Omaha. 
On Hay 10th the first celebration of "Hothers Day" was held in Nebraska, an idea 
promoted and successfully projected by Senator Burkett of this state. During June 
tornadoes visited Kearney, Franklin, Geneva, Fairbury and Fairfield, and soon after 
that a series of troublesome fioods ensued. W. J. Br}'an was named on the first 
ballot for the democratic presidential nomination, at Denver, on July 9th. John 
W. Kern, of Indiana, his running-mate, called upon him three days later at Fair- 
\\e\y. At the state conventions, the republicans turned down a plank providing 
for a guarantee of bank deposits, but the democrats on the same day, in their 
convention espoused this issue. On Sept. 30th, William Howard Taft, republican 
nominee for president, spoke in Lincoln. Bryan carried the state of Nebraska and 
received its electoral vote, but received a decisive defeat in the nation. Ashton 
C. Shallenberger turned the tables this time, and defeated Governor Sheldon. 
By virtue of a constitutional amendment enlarging the supreme court to seven 
members, Governor Sheldon appointed four new judges, Jacob Fawcett, J. L. Root 
and W. B. Rose, who took office and Ex-Chief Justice John J. Sullivan, who recon- 
sidered and after one day's service, declined, and James R. Dean was appointed 
in his stead. On Dec. 30th occurred the death of Daniel Freeman at Beatrice, 
who had been the first homesteader in the nation, under the law of 1862. 

GovERXOR SH.iLLEXBERGER's Admixistration. 1909. Taking office as the 
second democratic governor of the state. Governor Shallenberger had a democratic 
Legislature to work with him. Lieut. Gov. H. R. Hopewell, again presided 
over the Senate with Wni. H. Smitli as secretary of Senate and with George W. 
Tibbets, democrat, of IListings. as jiresideiit pro teni., and as speaker of the House 


CliarU's W. Pool, democrat, of 'i'ecuniseh and Trenmor Cone as cliief flerk. Tliis 
legislature attempted to recanvass the vote on the amendment enlarging the mem- 
l)ership of the supreme court, and binder this action, Governor Shallenberger 
made another set of appointments to the supreme court, retaining Judges Fawcett 
and Hoot, hut displacing Judges Eose and Dean with John J. Sullivan and Silas 
A. Tlolcoinli, fiinner members of that court, but the latter resigned, and W. D. 
Oldham of Keanu'v took his claim, but in the litigation that ensued. Judges 
Jiosf :iii(l Dean retained their .seats on the high bench. In this session of the 
LegislatuiT. a liitter discussion ensued over the acceptance of the "Carnegie Pension 
Fund" for university professors, which the Senate endorsed, but the House killed. 
A bank guaranty of deposits law was passed at this session. The '"Oregon plan"' 
of expressing a preference for United States Senators, in the direct primary, and 
taking this troublesome question out of the legislative hall, was adopted in 
Nebraska. The Senate killed the county option bill, and the House killed a daylight 
saloon proposal, but tlie real sensation of this session came in its closing hours, 
when Representative Victor E. Wilson of Polk County slipped into an innocent 
measure that had been passed to prevent saloons opening on primary day, a 
provision that no saloons in Nebraska could open before 7 A. M., and must close at 
8 P. il. This provision slipped into enactment that night, and for the next three 
days, a bedlam ensued around the state capitol, besieging Governor Shallenberger 
to veto or sign the measure. On April 5th, immediately following his appeal to the 
governor to sign the same, Ex-Governor Poynter was stricken in the executive 
offices and died a few moments later. On April 6th, four days after its passage, 
the governor signed the "Daylight Saloon" measure, and thereby, like his pre- 
decessor. Governor Sheldon, incurred the displeasure of powerful liquor interests, 
that rewarded him with defeat for a re-nomination in 1910. In May, Ex-Governor 
and Ex-Supreme Justice Lorenzo Crounse died at his home in Omaha. In June 
of this year, sculptor Daniel C. French was chosen to design the statue of Abraham 
Lincoln which graces the capitol grounds. In June, Judge Cornish held the Dono- 
hoe non-partisan Judiciary law invalid, and the affirmance of this by the supreme 
court held the election of its members into the partisan field for five years longer. 
1010. On January 1 1th, dcturred the death of Judge William Gaslin at his home 
in Alma. Judge Gaslin was a pioneer judge and a very original character. This 
year saw numerous conventions assembled and association formed fostering various 
movements, such as the formation of the Nebraska League of Municipalities; state 
baseball league; direct legislation league: brotherhood of threshermen ; county 
option convention; laymen's missionary convention; Nebraska Conservation Con- 
vention, second in the union, following Minnesota. W. J. Bryan attempted to 
promote sentiment for calling a special session of the Legislature to formulate an 
initiative and referendum law, but Governor Shallenberger refused to call the same. 
On .luiu' "^d. K\-(hi\. Joliu H. ilickey died at his home in Osceola. At the state 
(■(inventions on .Inly -.^Gth. the republicans adopted county option, but the democrats 
not only refused to endorse county option, iiut the more conservative elements of 
the party undertook to give W. J. Bryan a first-class steam rolling. The Bryan 
faction favored county option, the Dahlraan delegation favored local option. The 
result was a plank opposing making any plan a party creed. The republicans saw 
in this first defeat of Bryan in a democratic convention in seventeen years and 
in the growina- nrohibitorv sentiment, an o|)portunitv. so taking advantage of the 


"open primary" law then in force, oast ballots on democratic race for governor, and 
assisted in nominating Mayor James C. Dahlman, of Omaha, over Governor Shal- 
lenberger, and themselves defeated Addison E. Cady of St. Panl, with State Sen. 
Chester H. Aldrieh, of Polk County. The republican state ticket uiui. although 
the democratic candidate for secretary of state, Charles W. Pool, caiiic within 100 
votes of equalling Addison Wait. Gilbert M. Hitchcock, for United States Senator 
received 122,517 votes against 102,861 for Sen. E. J. Burkett. The democrats 
saved both houses of the legislature. W. J. Bryan had openly refused to support 
Dahliiian for governor, and Aldrieh won by 16,000 majority. The senatorial cam- 
paign hail been enlivened by charges which Edgar Howard of Columbus had made 
that (i. M. Hitchcock had been a beneficiary of the Bartley shortage of state funds. 
Atty.-Gen. W. T. Thompson resigned on October 28th to accept the appointment 
as solicitor-general of the F. S. Treasury Department, and Governor Shallen- 
licrger appointed Arthur F. ilullen, as attorney-general. W. H. Cowgill, demo- 
cratii- niciiiber of tlie state lailway commission, died on October 16th, and the 
governor appointed his ])rivate secretary, W. J. Furse, to this vacancy. 

Governor Aldrich's Administr.\tiox. IDll. The twenty-fourth Legislature, 
in thirty-second se-ssion met on Januan- 3, 1011. Lieut. Gov. John H. Morehead, 
the first of Nebraska's Senate presidents pro tem. governors to later become an acting 
lieutenant governor and then governor by election, held full presidency of the Senate, 
after the death of Lieutenant Governor Hopewell on May 5th. Wm. H. Smith was 
secretary of Senate. John Kuhl, democrat, Wayne, was speaker of the House, and 
Henry Richmond, chief clerk. Gilbert M. Hitchcock was Nebraska's first U. S. 
Senator to receive his election at the hands of the Legislature, as a formal ratifica- 
tion of the people's direct vote. The organization of this session was very difficult, 
as the county option question was a bitter bone of contention. A county option license 
bill was defeated in the House, by two votes, and in the Senate by a margin of one 
vote. The county option agitation, coupled with the fact that Lincoln had voted 
to abolish saloons, brought forth a formidable county removal agitation in this ses- 
sion, which resulted in Kearney, Grand Island, Hastings, Broken Bow and other 
central towns inviting the capital to take Horace Greeley's advice and move west- 
ward, but this proved to be the last strong movement on this question. The 
Senate voted the Ollis bill to place the stock yards under the jurisdiction of the rail- 
road commission; and also passed an initiative and referendum measure. A com- 
mission plan of government bill for towns over 5,000 was enacted at this session. 
In October, President Taft visited Nebraska. Albinus Nance, fourth governor of 
the state, died on December 6th at Chicago. 

1!>12. On February 9, notice was received of the death of Prof. Samuel 
Aughey, at Spokane, Washington. He was a professor in Nebraska University, 
1871-1884, and it is upon the authority of his research that much of the chapters 
on geology and early natural features of the state, in this work, are based. As the 
presidential primary was now set for April, so the delegates to national conven- 
tion could be elected at that primary, national politics formulated very early. 
In February, a Harnidn ( Inli was formed at Fremont to promote the candidacy of 
Jiulson Harmon of oliin fur the denuicratic nomination, and C. M. Gruenther, of 
I'latte Cnnnty, became rliairnian of :i Harmon campaign movement in this state. 
Artlmr V. Mullen suci-essfully (irganizcd a Champ Clark campaign in Nebraska, 
and there was a rnriiiiilalilr Wddili-dw Wilsmi uriranization. (iovernor .Vldrich came 


out ill February for Theodore Roosevelt. On February 11th, Deputy Warden 
Edward D. Davis was murdered by Albert Prince, negro convict, at the close of 
chapel exercises at the state jienitentiary. Prince was the last man in Nebraska to be 
legally executt'il. until tin' Culi'-lH-aiiiiiiiT dcrt iiHUlidii cm Dec. -jn. i;i2(). On iran-li 
14, occurred an uuidcnt that ciuisiderably marred the pcacelul repose of the Aldrieli 
administration. Warden James Delahunty, Deputy Warden Wagner, Usher E. (J. 
Hellman were killed, and Guard Thomas J. Doody wounded by three escaping con- 
victs at the state penitentiary, and in the chase that ensued, on March 18th, near 
Uretna, the three convicts were captured. Roy Blunt, a young farmer, hauling somi' 
of the officers, was killed, as was convict "Shorty" Gray. Convict John Dowd com- 
mitted suicide, and convict Charles Morley surrendered and was later sentenced to 
life imprisonment. This uprising was made an issue in that year's gubernatorial 
campaign. Tn April. Senator Robert M. LaFollette came to Nebraska for five days' 
iampai,i:ii tour in behalf of his candidacy for the republican presidential nomina- 
tion. In July. W. .1. Bryan made the fight of his life, up to that time, in the 
democratic national convention, and materially influenced the nomination of Wood- 
row Wilson for the presidency. The Bryan forces controlled the democratic state 
convention, and the Taft forces bolted the regular republican state convention, and 
organized their own separate convention, adopted their own platform, and made 
their own separate campaign, electing Frank M. Currie, of Broken Bow. as their 
state chairman, while the Roosevelt, or progressive vepidilicans. chose Frank P. 
Corrick, of Lincoln, as their state chairman. John H. Moreliead. deiudcratic candi- 
date for governor extensively toured the state, but refused a challenge of a joint 
debate with Governor Aldrich. his opponent. Governor Hiram W. Johnson, of 
California, progressive candidate for vice president, on the ticket with Theodore 
Roosevelt, delivered an address on September 3d, at the state fair. A legal effort 
was made by the Taft state republicans to oust the Roo,sevelt electoral slate from 
the ballot, but that failed. Theodore Roosevelt came into the state to speak on 
September 20th, and Woodrow Wilson came on October .5th. The fall election 
resulted in the election of John H. Morehead, as governor, and in the national 
election, Woodrow Wilson won. At the fall election of 1911, five amendments to 
the constitution were ado])ted by the electorate, providing for the initiative and 
referendum, holding elections of siate ctlicers biennially rather than annually, home 
rule for cities of the state, a state linard of c (mtidl of public institutions and increas- 
ing salaries of legislators from •$.■!(•() to $(i(M) per term. 

Governor Morehead's First Admixistratiox. 1913. When the task came 
of appointing the new board of control Governor Morehead offered one of these 
posts to ex-Governor Shallenberger who declined. The final apix)intmcnts made 
were District Judge Howard Kennedy, of Omaha ; ex-Governor Silas A. Holcond) 
of Broken Bow, and Henry Gerdes, of Falls City. The Legislature met at the 
regulai- iime in .lanuary. Lieut. -Gnv. Samuel R. McKelvie, Nebraska's first regu- 
larly elected lieutenant ,i;(i\ern(ir wliii later won election as governor, presided over 
the senate, uitli J. II. Kemp as president pro tem., and Clyde H. Barnard 
as secretary, ajid l>i-. I'. ('. Kellcy, of Grand Island, as speaker of the hou.-;e, and 
Henry Richmond as chief clerk. Congressman George W. Norris was elected United 
States Senator, the second senator chosen in Nebraska undci- the Oregon plan. 
This legislature passed an anti-logrolling hill, turned ddwii the univei-sity removal 
and the Ikiusc ])assed a downtown campus bill. api>roprialeil $10(i.i)Oo I'm- relief 


of tornado sufferers in the terrible disaster of March 23d, which tore up one edge 
of Omaha and cost over two hundred lives; passed a ver}' compreheusive insurance 
code; a bill for county ownership of telephones; and finally decided to submit 
to the people the question of removal of the state university to the "farm campus." 
Ill May, Lincoln held its first election under its new commission form of govern- 
ment charter, for five city commissioners. Nebraska again received a cabinet 
portfolio when William Jennings Bryan was made secretary of state, and in June, 
Kic'iiard L. Metcalfe was appointed governor of Panama Canal Zone, (fovernor 
Morehead appointed that old veteran of republican circles, Thomas J. Majors, as a 
member of the state normal board. This board shortly thereafter became a storm cen- 
ter through its action in removing Dr. A. 0. Thomas us ]ii-iiiii|ial (if Kearney Normal 
School, but Doctor Thomas the next election won \ iiMlicatinn liy being elected 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

11)14. The campaign of 191-i was a much murf (inict affair than its pivde- 
cessor of two years before. The democrats renominated (ii)vernor Morehead over 
Richard L. Metcalfe, and the republicans chose E. Beeclier Howell, of Omaha, as 
tjieir standard bearer. This time Governor Morehead was elected, and carried in 
witJi him a democratic state ticket, so for the first time in many years the demo- 
crats took control of all branches of the .state government, except the supreme court, 
but even in that branch succeeded in electing a chief justice, Judge Conrad Hollen- 
beck, for twenty-one years district judge in the fifth district. But he only lived two 
weeks after taking his oath of office. His successor was Andrew M. Morrissey, 
assistant attorney general, who had theretofore been private secretary to Governor 
Morehead. The people decisively rejected the university removal proposal. 

GovKiixoR Mouehead's Second Admixistk-vtion. 1915. This ses.sion of the 
legislature was presided over in the senate by Lieut. -Gov. James Pearson, and 
I'liili]) Kohl was president pro tem., and E. .A. Walrath, secretary, and in the house, 
George Jackson was speaker and G. W. Potts, chief clerk. The important measures 
enacted by this session were jury commissioner law- for Douglas County; some irri- 
gation district measures; new charter provisions for Omaha, including the extension 
of the commission plan of government to that city; consolidated school district law; 
and laws for consolidation pertaining to Omaha and her various suburbs being 
taken into Greater Omaha : The Torrens Land Btgistratioii Law ; State Budget Law. 
This remained a very quiet year politic-ally as there was no (ifF-year election even for 
the minor set of offices. 

1916. This year was enlivened by the Mexican troubles reaching a elima.^ 
that necessitated calling the Nebraska Militia regiments together. Nebraska's 
Fourth and Fifth Infantry regiments of National Guard troops were called into 
service on June 18, 1916, and taken to the Mexican border in July. They were 
kept there for many months patrolling the border and not mustered out until 
the next February, when it was pretty certain they wduld lie called right back 
into service very soon. The national campaign lent sjiirit to the iKilitical situation 
this year. In September, President Woodrow' Wilson was the guest of the Omaha 
Ak-Sar-Ben and a great throng gave him a most wonderful ovation. The republi- 
can nominee, Charles E. Hughes s])oke in the state. The state tickets were headed 
by Judge A. L. Sutton of Omaha. wh(i won the republican iKuniiiMtiiiii fniin a 
field of five candidates, and the democratic noiiiince was a man. absulutely new in 
state political circles, Keith .Vc\ illc. of North Platte, who had h.'cn dragged from 


political obscurity to defeat Charle?; \\. Bryan at the polls. Xeville succeeded in 
defeating Sutton, and carrying the democratic state ticket, as Wilson secured a 
majority of practically forty thousand in this state. Gilbert M. Hitchcock was 
re-elected United States Senator over John L. Kennedy. The perdominating issue 
in the state campaign in 1916 was the prohibitory amendment. This was adopted 
by a majority of 29,-1-1:2. It was generally represented throughout this cam- 
paign that the adoption of this amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale 
of into.xicating liquors in this state, would not result in such strict laws as to 
interfere with the keeping nf lii|\uiis in tlic home for personal and family usage. 
But when the Legislature nf I'.iK rainc tn ]iass enactments carrying this amend- 
ment into effect, the "wets" at first proposed to make the new laws bone dry, so 
e\erviiiic would sicken of prohibition. Then along came the national enactment 
of the Keed Act prohibiting the shipment of liquor into states that were "dry."" 
so the Legislature took a sudden turnabout and passed a law, not only "bone dry-" 
but with provisions regarding the possession of liquor any place except in one's 
home. iiKiking the Xehraska statute as far reacliing as any in the nation. The vote 
on this amendment in HMC. \va< n> tnll,,w>: 

Ccuntv For A-ain>t CnuuU For Against 

Adams '. :^.oo5 -^.o:;:; Filhn.uv 1.780 l,45fi 

Antelope -M<;:! I.H'l Franklin 1.2S2 918 

ArtJiui- 2-^1 Hm; Fn.ntirr 1.169 .573 

Bannrr 19:; 7!i Furnas 1,72.-) 694 

Bhiinf 221 1 •-'() ( iagc 3.549 2.576 

Boone 2.022 1.119 Canlrn 523 253 

Box Hntte 856 5(i;; (;arfield 486 208 

p.oyd 1.041 55'.i (;ospei- 560 442 

Bi-i.wii .S04 4:!1 Crant 208 128 

Bntfalo 2. 75: l,ss:i (iivelrv 1.090 713 

Bnrt 1.80S S5S Hall 2.364 2.483 

Butler 1.378 l.!Hi!i Hamilton 1.906 1.155 

Cass 2.591 l.S(;5 Harlan 1.290 673 

Cedar 1.712 1.531 Hayes 354 190 

Chase 551 2(i3 Hiteheoek 721 321 

Cherrv 1,520 961 Holt 1.988 1.437 

Clunvnne 6,S3 606 Hooker 184 107 

Clay 2.171 1.314 Howard 1.226 1.108 

( "olfax 922 1 .526 .letferson 2,1 72 1 .513 

CuMiing 991 1.876 Johnson 1.21S 1.075 

Custer 3.586 1 ,672 Kearney 1 .29 1 715 

Dakota 708 796 Keith 536 344 

llawes 1.071 524 Keya i'alia 481 198 

Dawson 1.992 1,120 Kinihall 378 144 

Denel 318 153 Kn.i\ 2,351 1.632 

Dixon 1,507 S61 Laneaster 10.720 5.518 

Dodge 2,704 2.173 jjueoln 2.194 1.183 

Douglas 14,888 25.389 Logan 306 114 

Dnndv 639 1S7 Loup 235 121 










. . 2,491 

. . 1.511 


. . 1 231 






















( 'ouiity 






... 1.748 

... 1.000 

... 1.107 








1 698 


... 1 .593 





. . 1.978 

. . 2.130 

.. 1,368 



Thurston . . . . 


Washinirton . . . 


... 1.135 
. .. 1.330 
. ... 1.2S0 
, ... 1.073 






. . 1,755 









Red Willow . 

. . 1,667 
. . 1,492 
. . 2,675 

.. 1,670 



Plurality . . 

. . . . 2.614 


Richardson . . . . 



. . . . 29.442 
D., 1. 



Seotfs Bluff . . . 

. . 2,388 
. . 1.810 

(;oVERNOR Neville's Administb.vtion. 1917. The Legislature met in January, 
thirty-seventh session. John Mattes was president pro tern, of senate, with Lieut. - 
CJov. Edgar Howard presiding and E. A. Walrath, secretary. In the house. Speaker 
George Jackson and Chief Clerk Geo. W. Potts again officiated. Aside from the 
strict prohibitory enactments, the other imi)ortant measures formulated by this 
session were: very sweeping amendinciits to the Employers' Liability Act of the 
session of 1913, known commonly as Workmen".s Compensation Law; State Hail 
Insurance Act; Regulation of Employment Agencies: City Manager Act. 

Semi-Cenfennial Statehood Celebration. An interesting event in 1917 was the Semi- 
Centennial Celebration, when the fiftieth anniversary of the admission of Nebraska 
to statehood, in 1867, was commemorated. President John L. Weljster of the 
State Historical Society was the guiding spirit of this enterprise, (iurdon W. 
Wattles, of Omaha, was chairman of a committee of one hundred prominent and 
active citizens throughout the state who assisted in making this celebration a suc- 
cess. The first step in the celebration was the pageant at the Ak-Sar-Ben at 
Omaha, in the fall of 1916, when President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson reviewed 
the wonderful portrayal of all stages of Nebraska's life. The great celebration 
held at Lincoln in June, 1917, at which the State University gave a historical 
jiageant, was visited by Theodore Roosevelt, as guest of honor. Local committees, 
consisting of the county superintendent, mayor, president of women's club and 
president of commercial clubs for each community worked arduously, and in 
many cities in the state local celebrations were held. Hon. John D. Haskell of 
Wakefield, Nebraska, offered in 1916 a prize of $100 for the best poem suitable for 
a Nebra.ska state song. The prize for the w-ords, or poem, went to Rev. W! H. 
Buss of Fremont, and for the best musical arrangement the $100 prize was secured 


hy John Priiiil 

(■ s</otr 

ul' Xcv 

■ York Citv. 


beginning of tl 

is statt 


ci.l ivview.' '1 

hr ])rnt;r; 

was as follows 

Xebraska appears at the 
the memorable occasion 


of the Semi-Centennial Celebration, Lincoln, June 1-Jth 
and 14th 

Tuesdiui. .luiir IJth 

S:(»0 a. 111. (»|.enin- of II ist..ri,-al S.,eiety Museum. 
10:00 a. m. Daylight Fireworks. 
10:30 a. m. Band Concerts. 
2:00 p. m. Auto Races at State Fair (irounds ami Band Concerts. 
'2:W ]>. m. University Alumni Reunion. 

General Business Meeting. Annual IteiKirt, Chancellor Avery, 
Alumni Address by Prof. F. R. Rhilbrick. 
2 :;iO ]i. 11). Pioneers Reunions at Auditorium. linn. S. C. Bassett, Gibbon, 
pi'esiding. Semi-Centennial Histmical .\ddi-ess by Hon. John L. 
Webster of Omaha. Historical Round Talilr by Pioneers. 
8:00 p. m. Pageant of Nebraska at State Faii- Cnli-eiiiu. 
10:00 p. m. Firt'works at State Fair Grounds. 

WnlnvMlaij. June Lith 

8:00 a. m. Opening Historical Museum. 
10:00 a. m. Daylight Fireworks. 
10:00 a. m. University Commencement Parade. 

10 :oO a. m. Connuencement Address by Dean Roscoe Pound of Harvard. 
2:;?0 ]i. m. Seiiii-Centenniai E.xercises, Capitol Grounds, Semi-Centennial Ad- 
dress by (Jov. Keith Neville, Response by Governors Capper of Kansas, 
Harding of Iowa, Burnquist of Minnesota, Houx of Wyoming, Gunter 
of Colorado and others. Open Air Reception to Governors. 
():•'!(! p. m. Nebraska Editors' Semi-Centennial Ban(|uet at Commercial Cluli. 
s :00 |i. 111. liciinion of Legislature and State Officers. Capitol, 
.s :00 ]i. III. I'aiicant of Nebraska at State Fair Grounds. Coliseum. 
111:1)11 |i. ill. Fireworks at State Yaw (;roiiiids. 

Thursilaii. .hinr l'^^h 

.S:0(i a. 111. Oiieiiiii- Historical Museum. 

8:10 a. 111. .\i rival Cilonel K'oosevell, Burlington Station. 

10:0(1 a. 111. Ban, I Coiirrrts. 

](t:00 a. 111. I';ik> FbiL: Ceremonv. 


10:30 ;i. m. Unvfiling portraits of .1. Sterling Morton, Charles Bessey. Robert 
W. Furnas, Isaac Pollard, and 11. W. Daniels in Xel.raska Hall of 
Agricultural Fame. 

"2:00 ji. ni. Great Patriotic Parade Eevievved by Colonel Roosevelt. 

:i :.'io p. ni. Address by Theodore Eoosevelt on "Americanism" followed liy in- 
formal reception. 

■'i ::io p. in. Band concerts and daylight fireworks. 

8:011 p. ni. Pageant of Nebraska at State Fair (Jrounds Coliseum. Colonel 
Roosevelt the guest of the evening. 

Xt'hra-aica in the World Win: A greater part of Governor Neville's adminis- 
tration was devoted to tasks that arose from the part Nehraska was called upon to 
]ilay in the Great World War. This terrible conflict had been raging since l!ll4r, 
when on August 1st, the world embroiled itself into a confiict that eventually swal- 
lowed almost the entire roster of nations, directly or indirectly, and more than 
two dozen were in actual fighting at a time. But upon April 2, 1917, when the 
President's message to congress called for a declaration of war, which was forth- 
coming on April 6th, Nebraska got immediately into the task. Her National 
Guard regiments were called back into federal service in July, 1!»17. The governor 
of the state fostered the enlistment and organization <>f a third regiment, the 
Seventh Nebraska, and tendered his resignation, to take effect upon his being 
mustered in as colonel of the new regiment. The Fourth Nebraska went forth 
under command of Col. W. E. Baehr, the Fifth under the command of Col. H. J. 
Paul, and the Sixth with Phillip L. Hall, formerly adjutant general of the state, 
as colonel. These regiments went to the training camps; were put into the mill 
with other national guard regiments : and through tlie policy pursued by the 
War Department toward the National Guard, torn apart, their identity largely 
destroyed, their officers scattered, and some of them left at 'Camp Deming, New 
ilexico, practically the entire time. The Seventh never got mustered in, and (iov- 
ernor Neville remained at his executixe post. 

Nebraska is credited with having had more soldiers and sailors in the service 
of the country, in proportion to her population, than any other state. Of a total 
increment of armed forces of 4,034,743 for the entire nation, Nebraska furnished 
49.614. Of these 29,807, or 60.08 per cent represented inductions under the regis- 
trations into the national army; 14,416, or 29.06 per cent, were enlistments in the 
army; 4,944, or 9.96 per cent, in the navy, and 447, or .90 per cent in the marine 
corps. Nebraska's per cent of national army, or "drafted" increment was 60.08 per 
cent against an average for all states, of 66.10 per cent, and the percentage of enlist- 
ments in other branches, for the entire nation, of 33.90 was eclipsed by Nebraska 
with a percentage of 39.92. Not only in numbers is Nebraska credited with an 
unusual record, but the report of the provost-marshal general shows that Nebraska 
accomplished the work of securing the men for military service at a cost of $4.90 
per man, against the national average of $7.90 per man. In physical rejections, 
this state stayed below the national average of 8.1 per cent with a showing of 
6 per cent. 

Nebraska can further show a record of more money subscribed per capita for 
Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps, and other quotas than any other state. 
The following table shows the results of Nebraska's war drives : 







First Liberty Loan 

..$ IS. 11(10. (Kill 

•$ IS, 200. 75(1 


Second Liberty Loan .... 




Third Liberty Loan 

. ;il,l»4-^,800 



Fourth Liberty Loan... 

. 68,350,000 



War Savings Stamps. . . 

. 23,940,120 



riiitfd War Work 




V. M. C. A 




First Hed Cross Fund. . 




Second Bed Cross Fund. 




Knights of Columbus. . . 




Armenian Relief 

25(1, ((00 



Smileage Book Cauijiaign 




Y. W. C. A 

no (juota 










Nebraska was the first state in the Union to go over the top on the war savings 
campaign, and the only state to accomplis'h this task on the first date set, March 
22d. This scheme had been figured out by a group of eastern financiers, and Frank 
A. Vanderli]) of the National City Bank of New York City placed at the head 
of this campaign. But a little group of men in Seward County, headed by W. H. 
Brokaw, later director of farm bureaus in Nebraska, in devising a way to meet the 
quota of their county took Mr. Brokaw's suggestion that a meeting be held simul- 
taneously in every school district in the county on one appointed day. In this 
way Seward County so promptly raised its i|u<ita. that State Director Ward M. 
Burgess of Omaha, investigated, applied that |ib(n to the state and raised Nebraska's 
qutoa on Marcli 22d : and this action residted in another date being set for everv 
other state in the Union, and Mr. Burgess lieiiig called to direct the national 

A state c.Kincil iif defense was app.nnted by (u.venKir Neville and this body 
of men worked incessantly for many months. Robert .M. Joyce of Lincoln was 
chairman. Hon. George A. Coupland worked on the problem of increa.sing the 
]irodncti"ii (in farms; Hon. Ricliard L. Metcalfe, H. E. Gooch, Miss Sarka B. 
llrbkeva worked faithfully on Americanization problems. Gen. George H. 
Harries of Omaha, George 0. Brophy, Dr. E. 0. Weber of Wahoo, Chas. A. McCloud. 
York, representing financial interests ; T. P. Reynolds of Omaha, representing labor 
interests; State Engineer George E. Johnson ami Adjt.-(ien. P. L. Hall. .Ir. 

1918. The continuance of the war work was the main task of the second year 
of the Neville administration. A special session of the Legislature was called to 
pass laws forbidding the teaching of German and European languages in the public 
schools l)elow the high school; to pass espionage and sabotage laws: and other 
war measures. Tlie Cduncil of nefcnse inaugurated a vigorous campaign against 
certain cb'nients of piMiple in the state, and pi-osecutions of tiie Nonpartisan League 
were carried on with irreat vii:or. 'I'he aiiirer of these aroused (dements throuirhout 


the state, the antagonism ^of certain elements against the party in power, and a 
sudden turn just before election caused by an appeal by President Wilson to elect 
a democratic congress and intimating that to vote for a republican candidate was 
an act of disloyalty, swept the state into the republican column at the fall election. 
p]x-Governor John H. Morehead, who had won the democratic senatorial nomina- 
ti(in against a field of aspirants was ilcrcafcd by Senator George W. Norris, and 
(iiivei'iior Neville was likcwi-c di Iraiiil \,\ Sanniil K. McKelvie, of Lincoln, who 
had ik'feated a field of repuMuaii gulninatdnal as|iirants in the primary. 

GovERNOK McKelvie's Auministhation. 1919. Governor McKelvie came 
into office, accompanied by a quota of republican state officers and a republican 
legislature. It opened up with expectations of being the greatest srs>ion since 1907. 
One of the domestic issues urged by Governor McKelvie in Ins (ampaign foii 
election was that he would advocate the passage of a civil adininistrati\c mde, pro- 
viding for the centralization or ciystallization of some twenty state departments, 
bureaus and commissions, into a gubernatorial cabinet of six secretaries, of finance, 
trade and commerce, agriculture, labor, public works and public welfare. This 
measure was contested fiercely, but with the governor's insistence and organiza- 
tion, was enacted into law. It was hauled into the courts, and during the interim 
between a favorable decision and an appeal, put into force by the governor, who 
appointed his cabinet, consisting of Philip F. Bross, secretary of finance ; J. E. 
Hart, secretary of trade and commerce, which took over the old banking, insurance 
and blue sky boards or bureaus, and the fire commission; Leo B. Stuhr, secretary 
of agriculture, which department took over the old pure food, dairy, oil, hotel 
bureaus and some of the activities of the old state agricultural department. Geo. 
E. Johnson, state engineer,_who took over that work and the new, increased high- 
ways department, and H. H. Antles, secretary of public welfare, which department 
embraced the old health department and pardon and parole board. This session 
was presided over in the senate by Lieut.-Gov. P. A. Barrows, and B. K. Bushee. 
as president pro tem. In the house, Dwight S. Dalbey was speaker and W. F. 
Hitchcock was chief clerk. This session accomplished some other noteworthy 
tasks, the most important of which was the projection of a state highway system, 
with some three millions of dollars per year appropriated to match a federal 
aid ; and in 1919 and 1920, some ten millions of dollars have been spent on building 
up splendid, permanent highways in Nebraska. This session provided for ways 
and means of holding a constitutional convention, and the delegates for this 
convention were elected at a special election in September, 1919. 

1920. The Constitutional Convention met in January, 1920, and after consider- 
ing 366 proposals, submitted to the people forty-one proposals to be voted upon 
at an election held September 31, 1920, when every one of these forty-one proposals 
was adopted, a record which has perhaps never been equalled in the nation. The 
nld constitution of 1875 was allowed to remain intact, and only those portions 
amended or superseded by these new proposals will be made non-eflfective. The 
personnel of this convention and the proposals submitted by it, are as follows: 

John Wiltse Falls City L. A. Varner Sterling 

Edgar Ferneau Auburn llcnrv R. Cleve Xel)raska City 

A. J. Weaver Falls City llrn.M M. Polhinl Xohawka 

,Iacob F. Haldernian Pawnee City Wni. 11. Pitzcr Nebraska City 



William Kieck Springlield 

Jerry Howard < )inaii;i 

(leo. A. Magney Omaha 

Lvsk' 1. Abbott Omaha 

('has. F. McLaughlin Omaha 

('has. \V. Sears Omaha 

[{. .\. Wilson Omaha 

(ieii. K. Norman. Omaha 

Anson H. Rigelow Omaha 

A. .1. Donahoe Omaha 

Jos. T. Votava Omaha 

L. J. TePoel Omaha 

('has. L. Saunder.s .Omaha 

A. W. Sprick Fontenello 

Herbert Rhoades Tekamah 

Harry L. Keefe Walthill 

John' n. Haskell Wakefield 

F. C. Kadke Hartington 

W. A. Mi'serve Creighton 

Willinr F. Bryant Hartington 

n. ('. Elvvood Creighton 

0. S. Spillman Pierce 

J. G. W. Lewis Wayne 

A. R. Oleson Wisner 

Charles MeLeod Stanton 

v.. S. Cowan Albion 

M. I). Tyler Norfolk 

Charles J. Thielen Humphrey 

1. L. Albert (^'olumbns 

M. J. Higgins Schuyler 

S. S. Sidner Fremont 

W. D. Holbrook »Lmes 

A. L. Ullstrom Memphis 

Emil Fauquet Wahoo 

C. Petrus Peterson Lincoln 

C. C. Flansburg Lincoln 

John M. Stewart Lincoln 

Walter L. Anderson Lincoln 

W. A. Selleck Lincoln 

C. W. Pugsley Lincoln 

I•'l•;lld^ Malicky Barneston 

Karl M. Marvin Beatrice 

.li>lin llrasty Fairbury 

•I'hos. Lahncrs Belvidere 

Will. Orcubcr Byron 

(;eo. FL TListings Crete 

K. S. Xorval Seward 

K. A. (.'oufal David City 

E. J. Spirk Wilber 

J. X. Norton Polk 

H. V. Price York 

R. A. Matteson Oeneva 

Chas. H. Epperson Fairfield 

(ieorge Landgren Shickley 

Arthur M. Hare Aurora 

(ieorge Jackson Nelson 

H. G. Keeney Cowles 

A. T. Bratton Hastings 

J. D. Evans Kenesaw 

Emil CI. Stolley Orand Island 

James G. Kunz Wood River 

Elmer E. Ross Central City 

R. Wilde Genoa 

C. V. Svoboda St. Paul 

Murt M. Sullivan Spalding 

James A. Donohoe O'Neil 

John A. Davies Butte 

Lewis K. Alder Ainsworth 

D. E. Strong Ord 

Aaron Wall Loup City 

W. J. Taylor Merna 

J. D. Ream Broken Bow 

Nathan P. :\Icr)oiiald Kearney 

Fred A. Nye Kearney 

I. C. Rankin Minden 

.Vlbert H. Byrum Bloomington 

George S. Austin Orleans 

Harry Johnson Holdrege 

B. F. Butler Cambridge 

Edward Sughroue Tndianola 

George C. Junkin Smithfield 

W. M. Stebbins Gothenburg 

Joseph G. Beeler North Platte 

Harry Lehman Culbertsoii 

P. W. Scott Imperial 

Festus Corothers Whitman 

(has. H. Cornell Valentine 

James H. H. Hewett .Vlliance 

Everett P. Wilson Chadron 

Thomas C. Osborne Bayard 

J. A. Rodman Kimball 

II. 1). Lute Paxton 


No. 1. Authorizes jury, bj- a five-sixth vote, to give a verdict in civil cases. 

No. 2. Permits legislature to regulate property rights of aliens. 

No. 3. Declares English to be official language and requires common school 
branches in all schools to be taught therein. 

No. 4. Reduces percentage of signatures to initiative and referendum petitions 
to conform to increased number of voters since women secured ballot. 

No. .5. Permits large counties to be divided into state senate and house districts. 

No. (i. Permits state senate to be increased from thirty-three to fifty members. 

No. 7. Increases salaries of legislators from $600 to $800 for two-year term. 

No. 8. Relates to legislative procedure and intended to save time of sessions and 
to prevent passage of important bills in closing hours iiy viva voice vote on con- 
ference committee reports. 

No. 9. Prohibits appointment of members of legislature to state offices. 

No. 10. Prohibits raising of salaries of state and county officers during term 
of office. 

No. 11. Reserves all rights to oil, gas and other minerals in state land sold. 

No. 12. Eliminates obsolete section of no consequence. 

No. 13. Provides for executive bndgt't and takes from governor sole control of 
pardons, placing it in hands of board. 

No. 14. Creates office of state tax comnnssioner to have charge of assessment 

No. 1.5. Provides for reorganization of courts of state with object of speeding 
up work and relieving supreme court of congestion. 

No. 16. Requires vote of five supreme judges to declare law unconstitutional. 

No. 17. Provides for election of supreme court judges ijy districts. 

No. 18. Gives ballot to women. 

No. 19. Provides soldiers may vote when absent from state on duty. 

No. 20. Authorizes legislature to distribute temporary school fund on any 
basis of length of school term it may decide. 

No. 21. Prohibits sale of school lands except at public auction. 

No. 22. Provides for election of university regents by districts. 

No. 23. Prohibits state aid to sectarian institutions. 

No. 24. Raises age for reform school inmates from 16 to 18, in order to keep 
boys under 18 from being sent to penitentiary, as now. 

No. 25. Makes constitutional board of present normal school board. 

No. 26. l?ewriting of tax schedules with intent to provide for gMthcring pro])- 
erty that now escapes taxation. 

No. 27. Tax exemption of $200 worth of household goods to a family. 

No. 28. Clears up ambiguity in existing constitution as to limit of indebted- 
ness for counties. 

No. 29. County boundaries cannot be changed save by vote of all affected. 

No. 30. Requires public utility corporations to report to state railway coni- 

No. 31. Prohibits consolidation of conipeting utilities without permission of 
railway commission. 

No. 32. Prohibits payment (if dividends by utilities out of any fnnd save net 

194 • ins'ldl.'Y (iK NKl'.nASKA 

Xo. 33. Allows Onuilia td add])! present charter as lumw rule chartL'r ami 
relieves legislature of need of legislating for that city aloue. 

Xo. 34. Grants greater powers and more flexible control to co-operative com- 

Xo. 35. Gives users of water for domestic and agricultural jiurposes priority 
in streams of state. 

Xo. 36. Retains in pulilic all heiicticial rights to water powers of state. 

X^o. 37. Permits regulation as to minimum wages and conditions of employ- 
ment of women and children in industry. 

No. 38. Permits creation of industrial commission to prevent strikes and 
lockouts and to control profiteering. 

No. 39. Provides that amendments to constitution submitted by legislature 
shall be adopted by a majority voting on the question if the affirmative vote is 3.5 
per cent of total vote cast at election. 

Xo. 40. Raises salaries of state officers, including supreme court judges, until 
such time as legislature may fix them. 

Xo. 41. Eliminates obsolete sections aiul provides when ainenduients go into 

The serenity of the McKelvie administration was disturbed somewhat by the 
practice followed in recent years o£"furloughing" prisoners in the state penitentiary ; 
a process neither a pardon nor a parole, but just granting them a vacation, 
which came to a head and brought down public indignation when one Beryl 
Kirk, of Omaha, serving the second year of a twenty year sentence for complicity 
in the killing of Officer Frank Rooney, was "furloughed" during the absence of 
the governor and lieutenant governor from the state by president pro tem. of senate 
and acting governor B. K. Bushcc This furlough was secured and then held 
some fourteen weeks, before presented to the warden, and resulted in an investiga- 
tion by the Bar Commission at the direction of the State Supreme Court of the 
actions of State Senator C. Petrus Peterson and republican state chairman Robert 
W. Devoe, who were members of the law firm that secured this action. Coupled 
with the pardon of Frank Dinsmore of Buffalo County, serving a life sentence for 
wife murder, the parole of St. Clair, a bank robber convict; of another prisoner 
who was released the day he was brought to the penetentiary and the growing 
number of paroles resulting from the indeterminate sentence law, and the necessity 
of some sixteen to twenty reprieves for Cole and Grammer, two Howard County 
murderers under sentence of death for the murder of Mrs. Lulu Vogt at Elba. 
Nebraska, on July 4, 1917, while those cases were switched back and forth and 
in and out of innumerable courts, this whole question aroused the state. But 
despite this situation, with five opponents for the nomination. Governor McKelvie 
won a renomination from his party in the spring primaries of 1920, and ex-Governor 
Morehead was selected to oppose him. A convention of farmers' unions, labor 
unions and non-partisan leaguers met at Grand Island, in May, and nominated 
Mayor Arthur G. Wray of York for governor ; Robert D. Mousel of Cambridge for 
lieutenant governor and F. L. Bollen of Crofton for attorney general. In the 
spring primaries the people of X^ebraska expressed a vigorous preference for Senator 
Iliram W. Johnson of California, for tlie republican nomination for president, 
which was won at Chicairo. bv Senator Warr.'ii C. Harding of Ohio, and in tlie 


democratic circles, ten Bryan delegates, headed by W. J. Bryan, and six Hitchcock 
delegates went to San Francisco, giving Senator Hitchcock only six from his own 
state in his quest for the democratic nomination, which on the forty-fourth ballot 
was won by Gov. James M. Cox of Ohio. 

Tlie fall election of 1920 was the first occasion upon which tiie women of the 
state exercised the full right of franchise, and the vote of the state was almost 
doubled, with this added vote and the natural increase. Senator Harding, the 
republican candidate for president, carried the state by the unprecedented majority 
of 127,000, and secured a majority in every one of the ninety-three counties of 
the state, and numerous state officers on the republican ticket had majorities hovering 
around one hundred thousand. Governor McKelvie was re-elected by a majority 
of approximately twenty-two thousand over Governor Morehead, who polled about 
forty thousand more votes than x\rthur G. Wray, the independent petition candidate. 
All six of the republican congres.smen were re-elected. The 1921 Legislature 
had only four ilemocrats among the 100 members of the house and the thirty- 
three senators were all republicans. The Legislature of 1921, met, confronted 
by many problems, in the passage of legislative acts to carry out numerous pro- 
visions of the new constitution; the first state "'budget" submitted to it, a new 
code of laws on pardons, parole and commutations, a new code of laws upon the 
blue sky question and other difficult, but pressing legislative questions. Lieut. -Gov. 
Pelham A. Barrows presided over the Senate with E. S. Xorval as President pro 
tem. and Clyde H. Barnard as Secretary. Walter L. Anderson of Lincoln was 
speaker and Frank P. Corrick of Lincoln, Chief Clerk of the House. The passage 
of a new pardon and paroles code, strengthened blue sky code, reapportionment for 
legislative districts, revenue measure, reassessment of real estate biennially instead 
of quadrennially, five-sixths jury act, strengthening Simon act requiring teaching 
of English rather than foreign languages in schools, refusal to authorize sale of 
.school lands, and passage of several bills included in the child welfare commission 
program were the chief iicliicvements of this session. 


Nebraska has well provided for her wards and unfortunates in numerous state 
institutions. A brief review of these will be given. 

Hospitals for the Insane. Up until 1870 Nebraska arranged to send her insane 
patients to Mount Pleasant, Iowa. From July to Decmeber of that year, the 
Pawnee County jail was ,used, and then the institution at Lincoln was finished. The 
hospital at Norfolk was established by act approved March 4, 188.5. The state 
hospital at Hastings was established by act approved March 30, 1887, and now 
Nebraska has these three well built, splendidly equipped institutions. 

The School for the Deaf is located at Omaha, and was cstablislied by an act 
approved February 7, 1867, and a building built in 1871. In lliii!i, the legislature 
changed the name of this institution from "Institute for the Deal and Dumb" to the 
"Nebraska School for the Deaf." The Institute for the Blind, established in 1875, 
is located at Nebraska City. The Institute for Feeble Minded Youth was estab- 
lished at Beatrice by an act in 1885. The Industrial School for Boys is located at 
Kearney, and since this institution was taken charge of some years ago by Hon. 
T?. V. Clark, has been raised to a standard hiirh amonff institutions of its class. 


The Industrial Sthool for Girls is located at Geneva. The citizens of Kearney 
donated 320 acres of laud to secure the former institution, provided for in 1879. 
The latter school at (leneva was built in 1892. It seems to be a very difficult 
institution to handle and has had nunuTcius clianges in management. There are 
two soldiers' and sailors' homes. The uhler and larger was established at Grand 
Island, by act of 1887 and opened on July 1, 1888. The citizens of Grand Island 
donated 640 acres of land for this institution, and it receives some federal aid. 
A branch home was located at Milford, in 1895, upon a site of thirty-five acres 
leased on annual rental, and the site purchased in 1899. As the number of veterans 
of Civil war decreases, it is expected to develop these institutions for the use of 
veterans of the Spanish-American and World wars, and other military services. 
A Nebraska Industrial Home was established by act of 1887 at Milford for the 
shelter and protection of penitent women and girls. In 1018, an institution in 
the nature of a "Eemedial Farm" for unfortunate women and girls was established, 
and located near York. The Legislature of 1906 provided for a "hospital for 
crippled ruptured and deformed rhildrt'n" to he located at Lincoln on the grounds 
of the home for the friendless. This institution developed into the Orthopedic 
Hospital. The Home for Dependent Children is another institution located on 
the outskirts of Lincoln and was created in 1909, an outgrowth of the work of a 
private association since 1876. Its function is to receive those children under six- 
teen, and under the new constitutional amendment of 1920 this will be changed 
to eighteen, who are neglected, ill-treated or left destitute by parents, and do not 
come within the orphan class. Tlie Legislature of 1911 established a hospital for 
tubercular patients, and this was located at Kearney. The State Penitentiarv is 
located at Lincoln. 


Gorernars (icorge L. Sheldon, 1907-1909. 

David Butler, 1867, until impeachment Ashton C. Shallenberger, 1909-1911. 

in ISTI. succeeded by W. H. James. Chester H. Aldrich, 1911-1913. 

secretary i.f state. John H. Morehead, 1913-1917. 

Robert W. Furnas. 1S73-1S7.-.. Keith Neville. 1917-1919. 

Silas Garber, 1875-1879. Samuel R. McKelvie, 1919-1923. 
Albinus Xance. 1879-1883. ,. , , ^ ■ 

James \\ . Dawes. 1883-1887. 

.I(ihn .M. Thayer. 1887, to January l.\ oihinan A. 1877-1879. 

1.S9I. May 5. 189], to February .s. I-Jliinni.l C. Cams. 1S79-1883. 

1892. A. W. Agce. 1,SS3-1,SS5. 

James F. Boyd. January l.">. ISIM, to 11. H. Shcdd. 1SS.V1SS9. 

May .".. 1S!I1. Felu-uary .s. 1,S92- (ico. I). Mieklejohn. 1889-1891. 

1.S93. Thomas J. Major.«. 1891-1895. 

Lorenzo Crounse. ls:t;{-lS9.-.. Robert E. Moore, 1895-1897. 

Silas A. Il..le,,nil,. lsi).-,-|S!M(. James E. Harris, 1897-1899. 

William A. I'oyntei-. 1 s!iii-l !i(il . K. A. Gilbert. 1899-1901. 

Charles II. Dielri.h. .laniian .;. IHiil. ('. F. Steele, 1901-1905. 

to Mav 1. l!Hii. Ivlinuiid G. McGilton. 1 :mi:,-1!»o:. 

Kzra I". Savage, :\[ay 1. 1 IMil - |!Hi;i. M. h'. Hopewell. 1907 to May 2, 1911: 
John II. Miekev. !9n;!-IIMi:. died Mav 2. 1911. 


Joliii 11. Moifhuatl (i^resident pro tem. 

senate), May 2, iyil-l'J13. 
S. K. McKelvie, 1913-1915. 
James Pearson, 1915-1917. 
Edgar Howard, 1917-1919. 
P. A. Barrows, 1919-1923. 


'riu.iiiiis 1". Kcniiard. Felinniry 21, 
1S67. to January 10, 1871. 

William H. James, 1871-187:!. 

.\ctiii'f (Jovenior. June 2, 1871, tn Jaii- 
iiaiy 13. 1873. 

J„hn J. (;o^))er. 1873-1875. 

Bruno Tz-cluuk, 1875-1879. 

S. J. Alexander, 1879-1883. 

Kdward P. Roggen, 1883-1887. 

Cillicrt 1.. r.aw8. January (i, 1887, to 
\o\(.|iilH>r 20, 1889, when lie resigned 
tci lill unexpired term in congress 
caused liy death of James Laird. 

Benjamin A. Cowdery, Novemher 20, 
18,S9, to January, 1891, vioe Laws. 

John ('. Allen, 1891-1895. 

Joel A. Piper, 1891-1897. 

William F. Porter, 1897-1901. 

George W. Marsh, 1901-1905. 

.\. (ialnsha. 1905-1907. 

(uMiriie ('. Junkin. 1907-1911. 

Addison Wait, 1911-1915. 

Charles W. Pool, 1915-1919. 

Darius M. Amsberrv, 1919-1923. 



Jellersoll B. West 

F. W. Li,.(ltk<.. is:9- 

Jiihn Wallichs. \..v,Mnl..T 12. 

1 885. 
U. A. Babcoek, 1885-1889. 
Thomas H. Benton, 1889-1893. 
Plugene Moore, 1893-1897. 
John F. Cornell, 1897-1901. 
Charles Weston, 1901-1905. 
Edward M. Searle, 1905-1909. 
Silas R. Barton. 1909-1913. 

W. B. Howard, 1913-1915. 
William H. Smith, 1915-1919. 
George W. Marsh, 1919-1923.- 

Shitr Tn;,siin'rs 

Augustus Kountze, Fehruary, 1867- 

James Sweet. 18(i!t-l,S71. 
Henry A. Koenig, 1871-1875. 
J. ('. McBride, 1875-1879. 
(ieorge M. Bartlett, 1879-1883. 
I'hilip D. Sturdevant, 1883-1885. 
Charles H. Willard, 1885-1889. 
John E. Hill, 1889-1893. 
Jo.seph S. Bartley, 1893-1897. 
John B. Merserve, 1897-1901. 
William Stuefer, 1901-1903. 
Peter Mortensen, 1!)(1.3-1i)(l7. 
L. (i. Brian, 19(17-1911. 
Walter A. George, 1911-1915. 
(Jeorge E. Hall, 1915-1919. 
I). B. Cropsey, 1919-1923. 

CoiNmisswiwrs of I'uhlir Lands and 

V. M. Davis, 1877-1881. 
A. G. Kendall, 1881-1885. 
Joseph Scott, 188.5-1889. 
John Steen, 1889-1891. 
A. R. Humphrey, 1891-1895. 
Henry C. Russell, 1895-1897. 
Jacob V. Wolfe, 1897-1901. 
George D. Follmer, 1901-1905. 
Henry M. Eaton, 1905-1909. 
K. B. Cowles, 1909-1913. 
Fred Beckman, 1913-1917. 
(."rant L. Shumway, 1917-1919. 
Dan Swanson, 1919-1923. 

A1turnpi/s (leneral 

('ininiiiiou S. Chasr. 18(17-18(19. 
Scth Robinson. Isdii-isTl. 
(ieorge H. Roberts, 1871-1873. 
J. R. Webster, 1873-1875. 
(ieorire H. Roberts, 1875-1879. 




C. .1. Dihvoi-tli, 1879-188:5. 
I.><aac Power.s Jr., 1883-1885. 
William Lem'. 1885-18!)!. 
(Jcoruc II., lSill-1895. 
Artliiir S. {'IniivhiU. 1SI)5-1897. 
('oiistantiiii' .1. Siiiytli. ISII7-19((]. 
Frank X. rnaii. I!inl-l'H(5. 
Xorris Brown, 111(15-11)1)7. 
Willinni T. Thompson, 1907-19111. 
Arthur F. Mullen, October 31, 1910, to 

.lanuai'y 5, IDll. vice Thompson. I'e- 

Grant G. Martin, 1911-11)15. 
Willis E. Reed, 191-5-1919. 
Clarence A. Davis, 1919-19-23. 

.lohn M. Thurston, 1895-1901. 
William V. Allen, 1893-1899; Decem- 

her 13, 1899, to March 28, 1901. 
.Monroe L. Ilayward, elected March 8, 

IS',)!). I lied December 5, 1899, never 

• loseph H. Millard. 11)()1-19))7. 
Chai-les IT. Dietrich. 19()l-li)05. 
Elmer J. Burkett, ]!)05-l!)ll. 
Xorris Brown. 19o7-1!)13. 
(iillicrt M. Hitchcock, l'.)ll to date. 
(Icor-e W. Xorri-. 1913 to date. 

Rcprpscniaiives in Congress: 
Entii'e state in one district 

Siiprrinlendrn/s of I'ldilir [nslnirlion 

S. Dewitt Bcals. appointeil Fchrua)-y IC. 

ISCD. to 1S71. 
J. II. M. Kcnzic. 1,S71-1877. 
S. i;. Tlionipson, 1877-1881. 
W. W. W. Jones, 1881-1887. 
(oMiriTc B. Lane, 1887-1891. 
.\. K. (ioudy, 1891-1895. 
Henry II. Corhctt. 1S!)5-1,S!)7. 
William I!. .lackson. 1S!)7-1901. 
William K. Fowler. l'.)()l-l!)05. 
Jasper L. McBrien. li)05-l!)0l). 
E. C. Bi.sho]), 19119-11)11. 
.lames W. Cralitree. January to October. 

James E. Delzell, October. 1911-1!)].-,. 
A. 0. Thomas, 1915-1917. 
W. H. Clemmons, 1917. 
J. M. Matzcn. vice Clemmons, deceased. 

V.m>: rcclcctcil l!)--'i). 

Turner M. :\lar(iuette. Maivh 1-4. 18G7. 
John Tatt'e, lS(i7-l.s73. 
Lorenzo Crounse, 1S7:')-1.S77. 
Frank Welch, 1877: died 1877. 
Thomas J. Majors, elected 1878 to fill 

K. K. Valentine, 1879-1883. 

First District 

.\. J. Weaver, 1883-1887. 
J..lin A. McShane, 1887-1889. 
W. J. Connell, 1889-l,s91. 
W. J. Bryan, 1891-1895. 
J. i:. Strode, 1895-1899. 
K. J. Burkett, 1899-1905. 
F. M. Pollard, 1905-1907. 
.lohn A. Maguire, 1909-1915. 
C. F. Reavis, 191.-.-19-23. 

Second District 

r,iilnl S loirs Si'wilors 

J..lin .\l. Thaver, lS(;S-l,s:i. 
Thoma- W. Tipton. 1S(;Ms:5. 
Phincas W. llitclico(k. lS7I-l,s 
.\l-crnon S. Pad, lock. Is:5-ls; 

C. II. \'an Wyck. ISS1-1,S,S7. 
Cliarle< F. Mandcrson, 1883-18! 

Jame- Laird. 18S3 to August, 18S9. 
(;illicrt L. Laws, vi.c Laird. 1889 to 

W. A. McKeighaii. 1S!)1-1893. 
David II. :\Icrccr. 1S1)3-1!)03. 
Cilbcit M. Ilit.hcmk. 1!)03-1!)05; 1907- 

.lohn L. Kcnnedv. i:)O5-l!)07. 
C. O. Lobcck. 1!)11-I!)1!). 
Albert W. JetVeris. D I !)-l!)-23. 


Third District 

E. K. Yaleiitine, 1883-1885. 
G. W. E. Dorsey, 1885-1891. 
0. M. Kem, 1891-1893. 
Geo. D. Meiklejohn, 1893-1897. 
Samuel Maxwell, 1897-1899. 
Johu S. Eobinson, 1899-1903. 
J. J. McCarthy, 1903-1907. 
J. F. Boyd, 1907-1909. 
James P. Latta, 1909-1913. 
Dan Y. Stephens, 1913-1919. 
Eobert E. Evans, 1919-1923. 

Charles IT. Sloan, 1911-1919. 
M. 0. McLaughlin, 1'.) 19-1923. 

Fifth District 

W. A. McKeighan, 1893-1895. 
W. E. Andrews, 1895-1897. 
E. D. Sutherland, 1897-1901. 
A. C. Shallenberger, 1901-1903. 
Ct. W. Norris, 1903-1913. 
Silas E. Barton, 1913-1917. 
A. C. Shallenberger, 1917-1919. 
W. E. Andress, 1919-1923. 

Fourth District 

E. J. Kainer, 1893-1897. 
William L. Stark. 1897-1903. 
Edmund II. Ilinshaw, 1903-1909. 

Sixth District 

0. M. Kem, 1893-1897. 
William L. Greene, 1899-1901. 
William Xeville, 1901-1903. 
Moses P. Kinkaid, 1903-1923. 



MISSION railroads' palmy POLITICAL DAYS. 


The fatla'i- of railroads in tliis state was tlie Paeitic Railroad project. Whether 
it is eorreet as intimated in past records that Jouatlian Carver foreshadowed it.s 
construction in 1T78, or whether in the years that the first railroads in the eastern 
part of the country were being built, the idea of a railroad to the western coast was 
being scouted as impracticable, it is realiably credited that Senator Thomas H. 
Benton, as early as 1825, urged upon Congress the "occupation of Columbia'' with 
a view of forming a "communication for commercial purposes between the Pacific 
and the Mississippi, and to send lights of science and religion into Easstern Asia." 
The development of this idea will be carried chronologically as the briefest way to 
fully cover its evolution into the finest system traversing the western plains. 

1835. Eev. Samuel Parker, in his journal of a trip across the continent, 
recorded an opinion that the mountains presented no insuperable obstacle to a rail- 

LS.'iG. 'J'he first public meeting to consider the project of a Pacific railway 
was called by John Plumbe, a civil engineer of Dubuque, Iowa. Editorial mention 
of such a project appeared in the columns of the Emigrant, Ann Arbor (Michigan 
Territory), February 6, 1832, presumably accreditable to Judge S. W. Dexter. 
Lewis Gaylord Clarke, in the Knickerbocker Magazine, in 1836, urged such an idea. 
Jonathan Carver's grandson, Heartwell Carver, was urging it in 1832. 

:\[aj.-(;cii. Civiiville M. Dodue. cliief engineer of the Union Pacific Railway 
frnin jscc to 1S7(I. the period of its most active construction, has narrated the 
stoiT of "How We Built the Union Pacific Railway" (published in Senate Docu- 
ment No. 447; 61st Congress, Second Session). Stating that interest in the 
project of a Pacific railway increased from 1836. he continues: 

"The exploiatioiis of Frnnont in IS 12 and lS4(i brought the attention of 
Congress, and A. ('. Wliitney was zealous and efficient in the cause from 1S!() to 
l.s")0. The first practical measure was Senator Salmon P. Chase's bill, making 
an ap|U(ipriation for the e.xploration of different routes for a Pacific railway in 
I^X',. .Numerous bills were introduced in Congress between 18.")2 and 1860, grant- 
ing subsidies and lands, and some of llimi ap]u-opriafing as large a sum as 
$96,000,000 for the construction of the r.iad. One of these bills passed one of 
the houses of Congress. Tlie results of (he explorations ordered by Congress were 


printed in eleven large volumes, covering the country between the parallels of 
latitude thirty-second on the south and forty-ninth on the north, and demonstrat- 
ing the feasibility of building a Pacific railway, but at a cost on any one of tha 
lines much larger tliaii the Union Pacific and Central Pacific were built for. 
It is a singular fact that in all of these explorations the most feasible line, in an 
engineering and commercial point of view, the line with the least obstacles to over- 
come, of lowest grades and least curvature, was never explored and reported on. 
Private enterprises explored and developed that line along the forty-second parallel 
of latitude. 

The route was made by the buffalo, next used by the Indians, then by the fur 
traders, next by the Mormons, and then by the overland immigration to California 
and Oregon. It was known as the Great Platte Valley Route. On this trail, 
or close to it, was built the Union and Central Pacific railroads to California, 
and the Oregon Short Line branch of the Union Pacific to Oregon. 

In 1858 Henry Farnum and Thomas C. Durant were building the Mississippi 
Railroad, a line westward across the state of Iowa as an extension of the Chicago 
and Rock Island, then terminating at Rock Island, 111. They desii-ed to end that 
line at the Missouri River, where the Pacific Railroad following the continent 
where the forty-second parallel of latitude would commence. Under the direction of 
Peter A. Dey, who had been a division engineer of the M. & M., in Iowa, I made the 
first survey across the state of Iowa, and the first reconnoissances and surveys on 
the Union Pacific for the purpose of determining where the one would end and the 
other commence, on the Missouri River. I crossed the Missouri River in the fall 
of 1853 and made our explorations west of the Platte Valley and up it far enough 
to determine that it would be the route of the Pacific road." 

General Dodge goes on in an article on "How We Built the Union Pacific" 
some forty pages long and from which the compiler of this brief review can 
take only enough to give the reader an idea of the magnitude of the task, and 
the difficulties surmounted in securing the selection of the eventual route: 

"The times were such that the work on the M. & M. Railway was suspended 
for some years. Meanwhile I located at Coi;ncil Bluffs, continuing the explora- 
tions under the directions of Messrs. Farnum and Durant and obtaining from 
voyagers, immigrants, and others all the information I could in regard to the 
country farther west. There was keen competition at that time for the control 
of the vast immigration crossing the plains, and Kansas City, Fort Leavenworth 
(tlien the government post), St. Joseph and Council Bluffs were points of concen- 
tration on the Missouri. The trails from all points converged in the Platte Valley 
at or near old Fort Kearney, following its waters to the South Pass. A portion 
of the Kansas City immigration followed the valley of the Arkansas west, and 
thence through New Mexico. The .greak bulk of the immigration was finally 
concentrated at Council Bluffs as the best crossing of the Missouri River. From 
my explorations and the information I had obtained with the aid of the Mormons 
and others, I mapped out and made an itinerary of a line from Council Bluffs 
through to Utah, California and Oregon, giving the camping places for each night, 
and showing where wood, water and fords of the streams could be found. Dis- 
tril)utod broadcast by the local interests of this route the map and itinerary had 
no small inihicnc(> in turning the mass of overland immigration to Council Bluffs, 
whore it crossed the :\rissouri and took the irr(>at Platte Vallev route. This route 


was up tliat valley to its forks, and then ii]) either the north or south fork to 
Salt Lake and California by way of the Iliunboklt, and to Oregon by the way of 
the Snake and Columbia rivers. This is today the route of the Union Pacific 
and Central Pacific to California and the Union Pacific to Oregon. 

"After collecting all the information we could as to the best route fur a railroad 
to the Pacific, I reported to Messrs. I-'ai-nnm and Durant, who ])aid out of tlieir 
private funds for all of my work. 

"In ls">l. when Xebraska was organized, we moved to its frontier, continuing 
the e\|iliii:irions under the patronage of Messrs. Farnuni and Durant, and obtain- 
ing all valuable information, whieli was used to concentrate the influence of the 
different railways east and west of Chicago to the sujjport of the forty-second 
parallel line." 

General Dodge continues : 

"In 1<S(U we discontinued the railroad work because of the Civil war. The 
passage of the bill of 1862, which made the building of a transcontinental railroad 
possible, was due primarily to the persistent efforts of Hon. SamueFR. Curtis, a 
representative in Congress from Iowa, who reported the bill before entering the 
Union service in 1861. It was then taken up by Hon. James Harlan, of Iowa, 
who suci-eeded in obtaining its passage in March, 1862." 

l:i t-onnuenting upon how tliis road obtained its name. General Dodge narrates 
that \arious lines proposed had received the names of the "North Route," "Buf- 
falo Trail." '-South Route,"" but that in 1858 a bill was fostered that gave out the 
name "■I'Mion Pacific." One of the arguments advanced for the bill that eventually 
]>asse(l was that the route proposed would tend to hold the people of the Pacific 
Coast in the Union. He adds: 

•TJncoln advocated its passage and building, not only as a military necessity, but 
as a niean> of holding the Pacific Coast to the Union. This bill became a law 
in 1m;-.'. and there is no doubt but what the sentiment that the building of the 
railroad would hold the Union together gave it the name of the Union Pacific."" 

(ieneral Dodge described the initiation of this work as follows: 

••In 1N(;'2 the Union Pacific Railway was organized at Chicago, and soon after 
Mr. Peter A. Dey continued the explorations, and in 1863 he placed parties over 
the Black Hills and in Salt Lake and over the Wasatch in Utah. In 1863 I was 
on diitv at Corinth when I was called to Washington by Mr. Lincoln, who had 
met me in IsJ-")'.* at Council Blulfs and had questioned me very systematically 
as to the knowledge 1 had of the we-iern country and the explorations I had made 
there. Reniendiei ing tlii< he railed nie to Washington to consult with me as to 
where the ea>teiii terminus of the ruiou Pacific Railway should be. I explained 
to him what niv .urvevs had dctciniined. and he fixed the initial point of the 
Union Pacific (at Cou -eii r.lulV<). At this interview with Mr. Linc.ln he was 
very anxious to have the mail constructed. It was my opinion then that it could 
not be con-^tructed nnlc ■; it '>-i- li'"'t bv the (lovernnu'iit, and so I informed Mr. 
Lincoln. He said that the United States had at that time all it could handle, but 
it was ready to make any concession and obtain any legislation that private parties 
who would undertake the work would require. 

"I then went to New York City and met Mr. Durant and others connected with 
the Union Pacific and infornu'd them of what :\Ir. Lincoln had said. It gave 


them new hope and they immediately formulated the amendments to the law of 
1862. which was passed in 1864 and enabled them to piish the work. 

"The ground was broken in Omaha in December of 1863, and in LSiU about 
$500,000 was spent in surveying and construction, and in 1865 forty miles was 
completed to Fremont. Mr. Dey, who had charge of the work as chief engineer, 
resigned, and stated in his letter that he was giving iip the best position in his 
profession this country had ever offered to any man. 

"In May, 1866, I resigned from the army, came to Omaha and took charge of 
the work as chief enigneer, and covered the line with engineering parties from 
Omaha to California, and pushed our location up the Platte Valley. 

"In 1866 we built 260 miles. 

"In the winter of 1866 we planned to build the next year 288 miles to Fort 
Sanders. During 1867 we reached the summit of the Black Hills and wintered 
at Cheyenne, where the population of nearly 10,000 gathered around us." 

John P. Davis, in his history of the Union Pacific Railway, describes the 
great moment in American railroad history entitled "Done," when, on the morning 
of May 10, 1869, the Union and Central Pacifies were ready to meet, except 
about a hundred feet left open between the "ends of the track." 

"Early in the day, Leland Stanford, governor of California and president of 
the Central Pacific arrived with his party from the west; during the forenoon. Vice 
President Durant and Directors Duff and Dillon of the Union Pacific, with other 
iirominent men, arrived." 

Davis describes the final culminating scene: 

"The ties were laid, about one hundred feet space left open for rails, and while 
the coolies from the west laid the rails from one end, the paddies from the east 
laid them at the other, until they met and joined. The 'last spike' remained to be 
driven. Telegraj:)hic wires were so connected that each blow of the descending 
sledge would flash the report to cities from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Spikes of 
gold, silver and iron were presented by the officials of Arizona, Xevada, and 
California, and when the last spike of gold was driven with the sledges of 
silver by President Stanford and A^ice President Durant the word Done flashed 
over the wires. The Central Pacific train back up, and the Union Pacific loco- 
motive, with its train, passed slowly over the point of junction and back again." 
The story has poetically been told in the lines of Bret Ilarte, which Mr. Davis 
quoted in his work: 


What was it the Engines said. 
Pilots touching — head to head, 
Facing on the single track. 
Half the world behind each back ? 
This is what the Engines said. 
Unreported and unread. 

With a prefatory screech. 
In a florid western speech. 
Said the Ensrinc from the West, 


"I am from Sierra's crest, 
And, if altitude's a test, 
Wliy, I reckon, it"s confessed. 
That I've done my level best." 

Said the Engine from the East, 
"They that work most talk the least, 
S'lJose you whistle down your brakes; 
What you've done is no great shakes. 
Pretty fair — but let our meeting 
Be a different kind of greeting, 
Let these folks with champagne stuffing, 
Not their Engines, do the puffing. 

"Listen ! Where Atlantic beats 
Shores of snow and summer heats. 
Where the Indian autumn skies 
Paint the woods with wampum dyes, 
I have chased the flying sun. 
Seeing all he looked upon. 
Blessing all that he had blest, 
Nursing in my iron breast 
All his vivifying heat, 
All his clouds above my crest; 
And before my flying feet 
Every shadow must retreat." 

Said the Western Engine "Phew!" 
And a long, low whistle blew, 
"Come now, really that's the oddest 
Talk for one so very modest. 
You talk of your East ! You do ? 
Why, I bring the East to you ! 
All the Orient, all Cathay, 
Find through me the shortest way; 
And the sun you follow here 
Rises in my hemisphere. 
Really — if one must be rude — 
Length, my friend, ain't longitude." 

Said the I'nion, "Don't reflect, or 
I'll run over some director.'' 
Said the Central, "I'm Pacific, 
But, when riled, I'm quite terrific. 
Yet today we shall not quarrel. 
Just to show these folks their moral, 
How two Engines — in their vision — 
Once have met without collision," 


That is what the Engines said, 
UnreiDorted and unread; 
Spoken slightly through the nose. 
With a whistle at the close. 


The Burlington & Missouri River, the second great railroad system of Xebraska 
in mileage and importance in the early days, has in more recent years, with many 
of its early subsidiaries, been merged into the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad Company's system. 

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company was chartered by a special 
act of the Illinois Legislature, dated February 12, 1849, as the Aurora Branch Rail- 
road Company. It built froiu Aurora to a connection with the Galena & Chicago 
Union Railroad (now Chicago & Xorthwestern) at Turner Junction about twelve 
miles. It had a track laid with wooden rails faced with strap iron when it opened 
for businesi5 on September 2, 1850. In 1852, it changed its name to Chicago & 
Aurora Railroad Company. On February 14, 1855, the name was changed to the Chi- 
cago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, and the road was extended through 
Illinois in the next few years. The bridge over the Mississippi at Burlington, Iowa, 
was opened for traffic on August 13, 1869. 

The Burlington & Missouri River Eailroad Company was organized in 1869, 
with a capital stock of $7,500,000, and in May, 1871, its capital stock was increased 
to $12,000,000. In January, 1873, it was taken over by the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy, which absorbed its lines east of the Missouri River. It then had a 
main line from Burlington, Iowa, to a point on the east bank of the Missouri 
River practically opposite Plattsmouth, Xebraska, and numerous branches. The 
Burlington & Missouri River Company in Xebraska, which was the name of the 
company which built the first Xebraska lines of this system, was incorporated 
May 12, 1869, and the construction of its line from Plattsmouth to Kearney, 
Xebraska, some one hundred and ninty miles, making connection with the 
Union Pacific main line, was started in 1870. Lines were then built from Omaha 
to Plattsmouth, twenty-one miles, where various connections were made. This 
company was consolidated with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Com- 
pany on July 28, 1880, with 836 miles of railroad in operation then. The exten- 
sion of this system will appear in the chronological chart of Xebraska's railroad 
building which follows. 


1862. Xebraska's direct railroad history begins with the passage of the bill by 
Congress authorizing the building of the Union Pacific Railroad. 

1863. December. Ground broken at the initial point fixed by the Government, 
"on the western boundary of the State of Iowa," opposite Omaha. Ground broken 
at Omaha on that day at the northern end of the levee, donated by the city to the 
railway company. 

1864. Road placed under contract for a hundred miles out of Omaha and sur- 


veys rau to lOUth Meridian (in Dawson County). A change in route was applied 
for at this time. 

1865. On .July lOtli, first rail laid at Omaha, on Union Pacific, and during 
the winter of 1865-66, eighty miles of track was laid, reaching to Columbus. 

1866. By March 15, .sixty miles of track was ready for use, and by July, 1866, 
135 miles was ready. 

1867. The Union Pacific pushed its line on through the State of Nebraska. 

1868. Passenger fare on the Union Pacific was reduced from ten to seven 
and a half cents per mile; In this year, stock was subscribed for the Omaha & 
Southwestern Railway, the second railway project in the state, and which built a 
line sixty-eight miles long from Omaha to Lincoln. This later became a part of the 
Burlington system. Its first officers were men prominent in Xebraska financial 
circles: S. S. Caldwell, president; Henry T. Clarke, vice president; Enos Lowe, 
treasurer, and A. S. Paddock, secretary, and the directors were George W. Prost, 
Clinton Brigg.s, John Y. Clopper, Ezra Millard, Jonas Gise, and Akin Saunders. 
Ground was broken at Xebraska City for a proposed enterprise that later developed 
into the Midland Pacific. 

1869. This year saw the completion of the Union Pacific, at Promontory, 
Utah, far beyond the Xeliraska border, but of far-reaching effect for Xebraska, as 
it gave a Pacific outlet to rail transportation that passed through this state. On 
February 15th the legislature of Xebraska appropriated 2,000 acres per mile to any 
railroad wdiich would complete ten miles of its route within one year, the grant in 
no case to exceed 100,000 acres. This brought about a group of railroad move- 
ments in this and the few succeeding years. In October James E. Boyd and a 
group of financial assistants around Omaha proposed to secure twenty men who 
would each subscribe $10,000 to an Omaha and Xorthwestern Railroad project to 
build some two hundred and fifty miles into the Elkhorn and Xiobrara valleys. 
This resulted in the incorporation in Xovember of the "Xorthwestern," with J. E. 
Boyd, Ezra and J. H. Millard, J. A. Horbach, J. S. McCormick, H. Kountze. C. H. 
Downs, J. A. Morrow, Q. A. Paxton and A. Kountze, as incorporators. 

In June of this year ground was broken at Lincoln for the Burlington. The 
Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Yalley (later a part of the Xorthwestern sys- 
tem) built its first ten miles from near Blair. 

1870. This year saw the completion of the Omaha & Scmrhwestern to Lin- 
coln; the extension of the Burlington on to Kearney was started, and twenty-six 
and one-half miles of the Xdrtliwcstcrn was built to Desoto. The Burlington 
ran its first train into Liiuulu in ,tuly. and also mnipleted its line to Xebraska 
City. In October Lancaster County voted bonds to aid the Onviha & Southwestern 
and the proposed ^lidland Pacilii-. Atchison & Xebi-aska Kailroad Companj' 
was organized in this year. 

is;i. This year saw tlio organization of the Midland Pacific Railroad. It 
built ill this year fifty-eight miles, from Xebraska City to Lincoln. This line a 
few years later was sold under foreclosure, and its operation carried along until in 
1876 it became part of the Burlington system. Indicative of the swift sales of 
railroad land, it might be noted that in April of this year the Union Pacific sold 
over sixteen thou.sand acres at an average of $1.13 per acre, and the Burlington 
sold some ciglit thousand five hundred acres at an average of $8.36 per acre. The 
Xorthwestern built from Fremont to Wisner. fiftv-one miles. The B. & M. 


had its trains running by July as far west as Crete, Saline Country. St. Joseph 
& Denver Railroad, now St. Joseph & Grand Island, built into the state as far 
as Hastings in this year. 

1872. The Atchison & Nebraska Company completed its line from Atcliison, 
Kan., to Lincoln, Neb., 148 miles in this year. This line later became a part of 
the Burlington system, coming up through Eichardson, Pawnee, Johnson, Gage 
and Lancaster counties. In September of this year the B. & M. brought in on one 
train 720 passengers, 600 being from Iowa. This is indicative of the flow of 
immigration from other states that Nebraska was then receiving. On March 
13th a test of the capacity of the new bridge at Omaha over the Missouri Eiver 
was made. It had taken three years from the time the contract was entered into 
until this bridge was finished. The Burlington line to Kearney Junction, to 
make junction with the Union Pacific, was completed on September IStli. The 
roadbed of the Northwestern was graded from Herman, where it had reached com- 
pletion in October, 1871, to Tekamah, though completion of this block of road was 
delayed until 1876. 

1873. The great Easter storm of this year put all Nebraska railroails to the 
"acid test" of their capacity to restore operations when a practically complete 
annihilation of facilities had taken place. Proposal was made in this year to pro- 
ject a line from Lincoln to St. Paul, Minn., extending the Sioux City & Pacific 
Railroad in Nebraska on to Lincoln. This latter named road was built down the 
east side of the Missouri Eiver from Sioux City to a point about tw^o miles west 
of Missouri Valley Junction, Iowa, where it connected with the Chicago & North- 
western main line from Chicago to Council Bluffs, Iowa, bending westward, 
crossing the Missouri Eiver by ferry, about three miles east of the City of Blair, 
and thence westward to Fremont. There it connected with the Fremont, Elkhorn 
& Missouri Valley, projected in 1869. 

1874. The St. Joseph &■ Denver Railroad passed into hands of a receiver, 
who operated it until March, 1877, when it was reorganized as the St. Joseph & 
Denver City, with . the Kansas part as the St. Joseph & Pacific, and later the 
Nebraska part as the Kansas & Nebraska Railroad and later yet the whole line as 
St. Joseph & Grand Island. 

The Midland Pacific extended its line from Lincoln to Seward, completing 
this task in 1874. It went into foreclosure, was reorganized as the Nebraska 
Railway, and so operated until 1S76, when it went into the hands of the B. & M. 

1875. The consolidation of the Midland Pacific and Brownville & Fort 
Kearney took place in this year, as above mentioned. 

1876. The B. & M. extended the old Midland Pacific line, which it had just 
taken over, from Seward on toward York, arriving at that place in 1877. The 
Omaha & Eepublican Valley, a branch of the Union Pacific extending from 
Valley station, in western Douglas County, toward Osceola, was .started. Wahoo, 
Valparaiso, David City and Osceola are on this line. The old Omaha & .North- 
western, now known as the Omaha & Northern Nebraska Bailway, built into 
Tekamah from Herman this year. The Covington, Columbus & Black Tlills 
Eailroad was built in 1876-7, and is twenty-six miles in length, from Sioux City 
to Ponca. 


1877. The B. & M. moved the shops of the transferred Midland & Pacific to 
their own yards in Lincoln. The Union Pacific, because Douglas County insti- 
tuted proceedings to repudiate a bond issue of $250,000 theretofore voted, 
threatened the removal of its machine shops west, but this never materialized. 
The Union Pacific built from Valparaiso to David City, Summit to Lane, and 
Valley to Lincoln. 

1878. Foreclosure of the Omaha & Xorthwestern brought about tlie organiza- 
tion of the Omaha & Xorthern Nebraska Railroad, to buy the former in and 
reorganize it. 

1879. The Omaha & Republican Valley completed its branch to Osceola. The 
St. Joseph & Denver City built into Grand Island from Hastings; the Fremont, 
Elkhorn & Missouri Valley reached Stanton, which remained the terminus for 
some time. The Atchison & Xebraska was extended from Lincoln to Columbus. 
The LTnion Pacific built from David City to the west Butler line. The Pacific 
Express Company was organized out of the express department of the Union 
Pacific Company. The Union Pacific and Burlington started a freight rate war. 
The F. E. & M. V. built froni Wisner to Oakdale. 

1880. The B. & M. extended its line to Central City and became the first 
company to cross the tracks of the Union Pacific, reaching that town about March ; 
in May it reached Columbus with a line. The leasing of the Atchison & Nebraska 
and tlie Lincoln and Northwestern railroads was ratified at Plattsmouth in March. 
The B. & M.'s northwest line now extended from York to Aurora, and turned 
northward to Central City. The LTnion Pacific built from Oconee to Albion. The 
Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley pushed on from Oakdale to Xeligh, and a 
branch diverged to Plainview. 

1881. In July the B. & M. reached Culbertson, which carried its southern 
line almost through the Republican Valley to nearly the western edge of the state. 
The St. Joseph & Denver City extended from Grand Island to St. Paul, the 
county seat of Howard County, a branch that later became part of the Union 
Pacific system. The B. & M. depot was completed at Lincoln at a cost of $125,000. 
Tlie Uniiiii Pacific built from Beatrice to Kansas State Line and the Blue Springs 
sjnir. TIic F. E. & !M. V. pushed on from O'Neill to Long Pine, and the 
"branch" from Plainview to Creighton. 

1SS2. The Norfolk branch of the Chicago, St. Paul. Minneajiolis tt Omaha 
was I)uilt. The Union Pacific branch was extended from St. Paul to North 
Lou|i. 2().().'? miles, and the Scotia to Scotia Junction, a spur of 1.37 miles, was 
also built. The Missouri Pacific R^iilroad built into Cass County this year. 
The B. & M. extended from Culbertson to Benkleman, in the very .«outhwest corner 
of the state. 

1883. Salina, Lincoln and Decatur railroad organized. At this time the 
western terminus of the Sioux City & Pacific (now Chicago & Northwestern) 
was Fort Niobrara, this line having been extended on from Stanton, through 
O'Neill. Neligh and Long Pine. 

18S4. The Chicago i^- Northwestern secured ownersliip of C. R. & Mo. 
River and C. I. & N. Company, and by this time owned the old Sioux City 
& Pacific, with which the Northern Nebraska Air Line had been consolidated 
and the various early attempts in Northenr Nebraska made by the Omaha & 
Northwestern, Omaha &: Northern Nebraska, Covington, Cohnnbus & 


Black Hills, organized together under the name of the Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Omaha, owned by the Northwestern, but operated even 
now in 1920 under its own name, as a separate corporation. The Blair 
bridge had been completed in 1883 and the transfer of trains by steam ferry 
done away with. It had been built by a separate company known as the Missouri 
Valley & Blair Bridge Company. The Northwestern at this time also purchased 
the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley, and prepared to extend it on to the 
Black Hills and Wyoming. Sheridan and Dawes counties came into being, as 
the main line was extended through this territory in 1885. In 1884 the Union 
Pacific built from Lincoln to Beatrice, 58.10 miles; from FuUerton to Cedar 
Eapids 1.595 miles; and the Burlington extended its Grand Island & Wyoming 
Central line from Aurora to Grand Island. The Burlington had opened branches 
from Tecumseh to Beatrice in 1883, from Nemalia to Salem, and from Kenesaw to 
Holdrege. In 1884 it now extended its lines from Chester to Hebron, 12_ 
miles; Dewitt to Tobias, 24 miles; its main line on from Holdrege to Oxford, 
20 miles, and another branch from Odell to Concordia, Kan., 74 miles. 

1885. In this year the Burlington extended a branch from Holdrege north- 
west to Elwood, 28 miles; and from Republican City, Neb., to Oberlin. Kan., 
78 miles. The Union Pacific started a branch out of St. Paul toward Loup 
City that reached the Sherman County line in this year. The Northwestern's 
activity as mentioned above w^as in building its Black Hills lines west from Fort 
Niobrara toward Chadron. In this year a State Railroad Commission was estab- 
lished by the Legislature consisting of the secretarv' of state, the auditor and the 
attorney general, with the actual work done by three secretaries. This device 
was resorted to as the constitution said no new executive officers could be created, 
and it proved to be rather ineffectual and mainly advisory. 

1886. The Burlington this year opened its line from Tobias to Holdrege, 
113 miles; extended its Holdrege branch from Elwood to Curtis, 44 miles; and 
built branches from Fairmont to Hebron, 33 miles, and from Edgar to Superior, 
26 miles. On its Grand Island & Wyoming Central district, it extended from 
Grand Island to Anselmo, Neb., 101 miles, and a branch was opened in Sep- 
tember from Aurora to Hastings, 28 miles. The Union Pacific extended its 
Loup City branch the remaining 20 miles to termination. It extended its other 
northern Loup Valley branch from North Loup to Ord, which has remained the 
terminus to this time, 1920. In August, 1886, the Missouri Pacific completed its 
line to Lincoln. The Northwestern pushed ahead with its Black Hills lines, 
througli Chadron, and opened direct conununication from Lincoln, through the 
F. E. & M. v., with the Elkhorn Valley and Northwest Nebraska. This was 
accomplished by completion of the branch out of Fremont to the south, being com- 
pleted from the Platte River bridge into Lincoln, and the Arlington to Omaha line 
being also completed. The Northwestern went on to Rapid City, S. D., this 
year. The F. E. & M. V. (Northwestern) was also projected in this year and 
started a branch through Butler, Seward, York, Hamilton, Clay and Adams 
counties, giving this road a line from David City through York to Harvard and 
Hastings. The Missouri Pacific built from Sarpy County to Omaha and started 
the Nebraska City branch to Weeping Water, which was finished in 1887. 

1887. Incorporation of the Lincoln & Black Hills Railroad and the Republican 
Vnllev & WvoTuing branch of the Burlington wcro filed, 'i'bo Lincoln Belt 


Line Eailway was organizeil, ;iiid the OinaJia, Lincoln, Hartland & Soulhwestern 
autiiorized surveys. 

In this year a Board of Transportation was formed by state authority. Tiiis 
comprised the three officers named in the act of 1885 with the .state treasurer added. 
Tliis board was declared void in a supreme court opinion of 1900, because of 
defects in the passage of tlie act of 1885. The Burlington in 1887 extended 
its northwest Xebraska line from Anselmo to Whitman, 99 miles; pushed its 
Curtis branch on from Curtis to Cheyenne, Wyo., 263 miles; opened a line from 
Omaha to Ashland, destined to be a part of its main line, 25 miles : extended from 
Central City to Greeley, H miles, and opened in December from Greeley to 
Burwell, 41 miles; and diverging from the Greeley branch at Palmer, pushed to 
Arcadia (Valley County), 54 miles. It also opened a branch from Ashland to 
Schuyler, 51 miles; Orleans to Blakeman, Kan., 95 miles. The Union Pacific extended 
about ten miles of line from Boelus, on its Loup City branch, to Xantasket, in 
northern Bufl'alo County. The Kansas City & Omaha Eailroad built into Sutton. 
Clay County, and came on thi-ough York County in this year. The Nebraska 
Southern Eailway built inmi Auburn to Nebraska City, and the Northwestern 
built on to Whitewood, S. D. 

1888. The Burlington extended its Wyoming line from Whitman to Alliance, 
Neb., 69 miles; built a branch from Greeley, Neb., to Ericson, 19 miles; and from 
Blakeman, Kan., to St. Francis, Kan., 39 miles. The F. E. & M. V. extended its 
Sutton branch. The Northwestern built from Geneva to Superior aiul from 
Lindsay to Oakdale, and extended its Niobrara line from Creighton to Verdigris; 
and the Missouri Pacific built from Talmage to Crete. 

1889. The Burlington built from Alliance, Neb., to Cambria, Wyo., 162 miles, 
carrying this line beyond the Nebra,ska borders. They opened a line from Cul- 
bertson to Beverly, Xeb., 10 miles, and changed the Denver to Lyons, Colo., line 
to standard gauge and leased it tn the Chicago, Burlington it Quincy. The 
Xorthwesteru extended lines from Linwood to Geneva and from Lindsay to 

1S90. The Burlin.sfton activities had gone beyond Nebraska and were used 
on a liraiuh from Newcastle to Merino, Wyo., and Edgemont to Hill City, S. D. 
The Northwestern was also working in South Dakota, extending this year lines 
to Belle Fourche and to Deadwood. The Union Pacific extended its Boelus branch 
from Xantasket to Pleasanton, its terminus, and started its branch from Kearney 
to Callaway, in southern Custer Ciuiuty. The Lincoln, Sioux City & Yankton, 
and the Lincoln it Western Kail mail filed articles of incorporation. 

1891. The Burlington u]„.|ied I, ranches from Beverly to Palisade, Neb., 8 miles; 
from Merino to (iillcttc. Wyo.. is miles and extended from Hill City to Dead- 
wood, S. D., and Minnekata to Hot Springs, S. D. The Northwestern was build- 
ing lines around Deadwood and to I, rail City. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific 
system was seeking to enter Lincoln, having in the year preceding been enjoined 
from crossing the tracks of the B. it 'SI., and Omaha & Republican Valley lines, 
and it enjoined the Lincoln electric lines from crossing its tracks; but injunc- 
tions were shortly thereafter vacated. The Rock Island was building from Omaha 
to Lincoln, extending its main line on the way toward Denver. 

1892. The Rock Island liuilt oii into Lincoln, and extended its line on toward 
the Nebraska slate border, toward Belleville, Kan. It has 127 miles of this line 


in Nebraska aud a brauch from Fairbury to Nelson, of 51 miles, or a total of 
178 miles in Nebraska. The Burlington built from Palisade to Imperial, Neb., 
31 miles; and opened 101 miles from Gillette to Sheridan, Wyo. 

1893. The Burlington construction was in Wyoming, ami the Northwestern in 
South Dakota. 

1891:. The Burlington reached Billings, Mont., far beyond Xilira>l<a"s con- 
fines, but of vast importance to this state, as it gave another traii-iMiitatimi outlet 
to the Northwest, and eventually to the Pacific This brings u> tn tlir years of 
the droughts, and in railroad activities as in every other line of human endeavor the 
next live year trying period is reflected. Nothing of importance comes in 
railroad extension until 1891). 

1899. The Burlington opened a 19 mile extension of that branch from 
Arcadia, to Sargent, Neb., the present terminus in 1921. 

1900. The Burlington made an important move to Western Nebraska and 
opened up the great North Platte Valley liy building the branches from Alliance 
to Northport and Bridgeport, Neb., and on west to Guernsey. Wyo., 131 miles, 
and from Northport, Neb., south to Brusli, Colo., 113 miles. The Union Pacific 
extended its Gallaw.iy yards. 

1902. The Union Pacific extended its branch from Cedar Rapids (Boone 
County) to Spalding (Greeley County). 

1901. The Northwestern extended its Northeastern Nebraska line to Bone- 
steel, S. D. 

190(5. The Union Pacific built the branch from Stromsburg (Polk County) 
to Central City (Merrick County), joining the main line there, and trains are 
run to Grand Island over this combined line. The Burlington extended a line 
from Ashland to South Sioux City (Laketon), 107 miles. In 1906 the Union 
Pacific started the construction of the second, or double track on its main line, and 
continued this work through 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1910 on its Nebraska line. 

1907. The Burlington purchased the line from South Sioux City to O'Neill, 
Neb. The Union Pacific started its line up into the North Platte Valley, build- 
ing in 1907 from O'Fallons, near North Platte, to Lutherville, 62 miles. In this 
3'ear, the permanent Railway Commission was started, having been established by 
a constitutional amendment. Hudson J. Winnett, of Lincoln, Robert Cowell, of 
Omaha, and .loscph A. Williams, of Pierce County, were named. Mr. Cowell 
resigned from the commission in April, 1907, and Henry T. -Clarke took his 
place. Mr. Clarke served until 1917. 

1908. The Union Pacific huilt from Lutherville to Oshkosh, about 9 miles, and 
a line from Summit to Lane, the "Lane CutoftV" in Douglas County, thereby 
shortening its maiii line. 

1909. The Burlington built 7 miles of line from Lincoln to Cobb Junction, 
and the Union Pacific extended from Oshkosh to Northport, practically lo miles. 

1911. The L^nion Pacific extended its branch from Northport to Gering, 
and then to Haig, a few miles beyond Gering. 

1912-1913. The Union Pacific extended its Callaway branch on to Staplcton, in 
Logan County. 

1920. The Union Pacific is extending its North Platte Valley branch from 
Haig. Ncl). (Scotts Bluff County), on to Goshen Hole, Wyo,, with the ultimate 
aim of joining its main line at Medicine Bow, Wyo. Extensions of the Burlington 


branch termiuating at Ericson ou to Chambers and into Holt County, and either 
the Union Pacific branch at Spalding or Albion into Wheeler County and on 
toward Holt County and the Northwestern line are being agitated and projection 
attempted in 1S)20. 


As siiown heretofore, this body started out with Hudson J. Winnett, Joseph 
A. Williams and Henry T. Clarke as members, and Mr. Clarke served until 1917, 
when he was succeeded by Victor E. Wilson, who had won in the election of 
1916. Mr. Winnett served until 1913, when H. G. Taylor, of Central City, took 
a seat on the commission. Mr. Taylor had defeated C. E. Harmon in the 1912 
election, and was re-elected in 1918 and is still a member of this body. On 
December 1, 1911, Thomas L. Hall became a member of the commission to fill 
the vacancy caused by the death of Commissioner W. H. Cowgill, who had suc- 
ceeded Commissioner Williams. . William J. Furse has served by appointment fol- 
lowing Commissioner Cowgill's death. Commissioner Hall was re-elected in 1914, 
and served from 1915 until date, but retired in January, 1931, not having again 
been a candidate for re-election to this office, but running for governor in the 
primaries of 1920. Commissioner Wilson resigned in 1919, and Sec. Thorne 
Browne was appointed in his place. Commissioner Browne in 1920 was elected 
to the seat of Commissioner Hall choosing the longer term rather than to 
succeed himself, for a four year balance, and Harry L. Cook was elected for the 
balance of Commissioner Browne's term. The secretaries of the commission have 
been Clark Perkins, from 1907 to 1912 ; A. B. Allen, 1912-1916 ;'Thorne A. Browne, 
1916-1920, and J. E. Curtiss, 1920. 


On December 10. 1920, George W. Holdrege resigned as general manager 
of the lines west of the Burlington system, after continuous service in that capacity 
since 1886, and fifty-one years of service with this railroad in Nebraska. This 
occasion brought forth from the Nebraska State Journal some interesting reminis- 
cences of railroad history of the state, which will aptly close this portion of our 

For more than twenty-five years Mr. Holdrege wielded a political power that 
no man before him or since has essayed in Nebraska. Governors and United States 
senators, not to mention many other minor state officers, were made and unmade 
in his office in Omaha. In that period between the eclipse of YanWyck and the 
rise of George Sheldon and Norris Brown he reigned supreme. No man thought 
to run for any important state office until after he had gone to Omaha to see George 
W. Holdrege, and his office was the mecca of legislators and others active in repub- 
lican politics. 

Sought No Pemonal Advantage Jlr. Holdrege differed from the traditional 
political boss in that he never sought profit personally by reason of the power he 
wielded. A Burlington man first, last, and always, his power was employed solely 
to advance and protect the interests of that railroad. He made no alliances with 
disreputable clonieiits. He made no effort to conceal cither what he was doing 


or how he did it. Himsulf he kept always in the background. Very rarely did 
he appear at Lincoln when the legislature was in session, or at other times. He 
dealt largely through agents, J. H. Ager, who recently died in Lincoln, being his 
most trusted man for many years. 

The machine operated by Mr. Holdrege was organized along business lines, in 
each county through wdiicli the road ran. It was represented by a group of 
active politicians all of whom were holders of annual passes. One of the group, 
usually a lawyer or a banker, was the chief pass distributor for the county. He 
was supplied with blank books of passes issued in Mr. Holdrege's name, and 
he was free to use these as he pleased, but that power was subject to the rule that 
it must not be employed recklessly or unwisely. If he used it so, he lost his power 
and his pass, and they passed to another. The same fate awaited him if he failed 
to bring the delegation ' from that county to the state convention, and could not 
offer a reasonable explanation therefor. 

This group was usually composed of one or two lawyers, bankers, business men, 
and a doctor or two, men who knew the political game and how to play upon the 
prejudices and ambitions of men. They made up the local machine, which 
fattened on its power to award offices and give out passes. Through the lax system 
of primaries by which delegates to county conventions were selected, an organized 
group, except where a vital issue that stirred voters to action, could invariably 
get control of the county conventions. They set up dummy candidates in pre- 
cincts in order to control the votes of the precinct delegation, and then put these 
into a pot w-ith the delegates brought in by the candidates they had pre\iously 
decided to nominate, and thus controlled without any trouble. 

Their principal job was to bring in the county delegation to the state conven- 
tion, and thus the railroads controlled that gathering. They also recommended 
or picked candidates for the legislature, and were also permitted to salve their 
vanity by setting up as little local bosses, subject to correction and punishment 
for abuse of power. 

The railroads had been in politics from the beginning of the state, l)Ut they 
never appeared so strongly in the open as they did after they liad repelled first 
the granger movement that lifted VanWyck to eminence and later the populist 
movement. From then until 1906 a republican state convention, packed by rail- 
road passholders, dictated party policies and the personnel of state officers. The 
Burlington was the master force for a number of years, due to the leadership 
of Holdrege, but in time the Union Pacific and Northwestern challenged its 
supremacy, and in a number of state conventions the battle was less between 
candidates than it was between railroads, as to which should control and dictate 
tlie principal nominees. 

End of Railroad Politicti. This condition of affairs was generally known and 
accepted, and it was not until 1006, wlien Sheldon as a candidate for governor 
and Brown as a candidate for senator challenged the right of the railroads to operate 
the state government and name the men who should fill the offices. The battle was 
a hot one. It was really lost in Lancaster County, where just before the conven- 
tion the two contending forces, each desirous of getting a foothold in the state 
convention and each being fearful of defeat, had agreed on a truce by which the 
delegation was to be split. When Mr. Holdrege was informed of this agreement, 
sensing with his keen vision of politics that a victory in Lancaster was necessary 


if the couvention control was to be gained, he ordered his lieutenants to fight it 
out. Tliey did, and lost by the narrow margin of a dozen votes in a 
convention of over eight hundred delegates. 

'I'lie railroads were routed in that state convention and the next legislature 
]iut Ihciii out of politics by adopting a number of new laws; principally the direct 
priuuiry and the abolition of the pass. Mr. Holdrege's reign ended then. It was 
only by the pass and the convention system that the railroads could control. 
Past successes had convinced ambitious young men that political preferment 
could be gained only through the existing railroad machine, and when the fetich 
was destroyed along with the organization, it ended all hope for the sort of con- 
trolled politics that had existed for so many years. 

Accepted Xeiu Conditions. Xo rail manager ever accepted absolutely changed 
conditions more readily than Hr. Holdrege. Some of his friends said that taking 
jiolitiial work away from railroads came as an absolute relief to the Burlington 
general iiumager. He devoted himself to railroading more arduously than ever, 
matters u{ railroad development and transportation receiving attention that formerly 
had lii/cn divided by attention to matters political. 

Whrn the Hill ownership came many said that a manager i5chooled as Mr. 
Holdrege had been in the old way of doing things could never take up the newer 
ways. To the surprise of some who knew him least he at once became a manager 
(if the Hill type, an exponent of the Hill ideas in railroading, a manager who 
iittcil ill well in the new regime. He reorganized his forces and began the cam- 
paign (if rebuilding and betterment that started with Hill ownership as energetically 
as he had entered the campaign of new building and expansion of the system 
ill tile lusli building period of the '80s. Hill ownership and Hill methods had pre- 
ceded the legislature of 1!>U7. which put the railroads out of politics, and Mr. 
Holdrege found no lack of work to be done after he had been relieved of his political 

Mr. Iliildrege Has Xo Regrets. In an interview in 1!I14. ilr. Holdrege was asked 
if he «ei-e to start life over again if he would be a railroad man. 

"1 have no reason to say 1 wmihl not be," was the reply. "I like the work and 

"Are there opportunities today for the young man to forge ahead in railroad 
work as there were when you entered the service?" 

"There is always a chance for young men to forge ahead," he said. "The future 
of our country is great and will become more important as time goes on." 

"Would you advise a young man to enter railroad business for a life work?" 

"That depends on the circumstances. There are splendid opportunities for 
young energetic men today in our business just as there always have been. If a 
young man likes the work I can see no reason why he should not choose it for 
his calling. I can say this: The railroad field is a good one for any energetic 
young man of today. To succeed in it requires hard work and ])lenty of it — 
fidelity to duty and a willingness to learn everything possible that can be learned 
about all that have to do with railroading." 












Xebra.ska's attention to the cultivntion of the reli,?ious, educational and social 
phases of life started practically coincident with the historical record of its settle- 
ments and governmental inaugurations. 

It is not within our power in this brief review to go into any detailed historical 
record of each denomination of the many religious bodies which have carried on 
the most sacred work of life within the growing State of Nebraska. But we will 
endeavor to give a short chronologj- of the simultaneous religious development in 
this state by the various denominations. 

Before 1833. If it be true that Quivera was located within the present 
boundaries of X'ebraska, then Eev. John de Padilla, Franciscan friar, was the first 
Christian clergyman to officiate within the limits of Nebraska, as he accompanied 
Coronado in 154L From 1670 to 1776 the region now known as Nebraska was 
under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Quebec. It was placed subject to the 
diocese of Santiago de Cuba in 1777, and later fell under the sway of the French 
ecclesiastics. The various explorers of the Mississippi Valley were many of 
them priests of the Catholic faith. 

1833. It was in this year that Eev. Moses Merrill and wife came as mis- 
sionaries to Bellevue. Rev. Moses Merrill was the son of a Baptist minister of 
Sedgwick, Maine. He gave up his work of teaching in Michigan, in February, 
1830, and devoted his attention to theological study, preaching and preparing to 
do missionaiy work among the Indians. He was married on June 1, 1830, to 
Miss Eliza Wilcox, and in September, 1832, they were appointed as missionaries 
by the Baptist Missionary Union to Sault Stc. Marie. From there they went to 
Shawnee Mission, Mo., and then came to Bellevue, Indian Territory (now 
Vol. 1—13 215 


Nebraska) 200 miles from any white settlement, and there arrived on November 
19th. A school for Indian children was at once opened, and preaching by an inter- 
preter speedily followed. The Indians were visited, fed, counseled and befriended. 

1834. The Merrills continued their work and undertook the preparation of an 
Otoe spelling book, a reading book making thirty pages duodecimo, and a hymn 
book. The Indians soon learned to sing the hymns of the little hymn book. 

A Presbyterian mission for the Pawnees was undertaken in this year by Rev. 
Samuel Allis and Rev. John Dunbar. Reverend Dunbar first began work in 
1834 among the Omaha Indians at Bellevue, and later extended his activities 
to the Pawnee Indians, as far iip as Fullerton. 

1835. In September of this year the Merrill family removed from Bellevue, 
six miles, to the vicinity of the new Otoe village, and occupied a log house, 
sixteen feet square, just completed. In December they moved into a larger 

1S3G. On August 14tli the first exercises in Otoe were held at the school 
house. The year 1837 continued along in a similar tenor. Additional mission 
buildings were completed and the first address to the Indians in Otoe was given. 
The work progressed on through 1838 and 1839, and in 1840 the spirit of this 
wonderful man was called to tlie home beyond. The Otoes, who knew him as 
"The-one-who-always-speaks-the-truth,"' inquired if he whom they mourned had not a 
brother who would come and take his place. Samuel Pearce Merrill, second son 
of this worthy couple, who prepared the memorial to his father, incorporated in 
Yol. 4, of Nebraska Historical Society Papers, p. 157, closed the same with this 
memorial observation : 

"The journal record of hardships, losses, dangers, and narrow escapes with 
life gives reasons enough for the quick termination of this mission by the death of 
its leader. And the scenes of lust, drunkenness, lawlessness, and murder amid 
which the wife of this missionary employed herself in teaching these savages 
were enough to start the stoutest mind from its true center. Sickness, epidemics, 
cholera, and drunkenness worst of all, ravaged the tribe during these years." 

The excerpts from the diary of this worthy missionary which follow in that 
volume, at pp. 160 to 191, are worth the attention of any one who would enjoy 
a glimpse of what difficulties church work in those early times met with. 

In the '40s Mr. and Mrs. Lester Ward Pratt joined the Indian mission 
at the Pawnee villages in 1843. and Rev. William Kinney took that work up 
in 1846. The work of the Churches of Christ was initiated in Nebraska in 1845, 
with a sei-mon preached by a man named Foster, at a point on the south side of 
the North Platte River opposite the present town of Ogalalla. 

It will be recalled that with the exception of the trading posts and Indian 
missions, the real settlement in Nebraska communities was deferred until 1853 
and 1854. 

1855. The Bai)tist Cinii 
Beginning with the arrival 
work speedily progi'essed, g 
and 16 ministers bv ISfUi, ai 




■k St 


1 in this year v 

i]i()n a 

firm foi 


i. .1 

. M. 

'I'aggart in th 

e following ye 

ar, their 


•u\ h 

is efforts to a 


of 14 


ml ' 

•.'nil ( 

■hureiies some s: 

ixtv vef 

irs later 


In January of this year the Christian Church at Brownville was orgauized, 
tlirough the efforts of Richard Brown, who had settled on the site of Brownville, 
and Joel M. Wood, with "Father" John Mullis associated with them. 

The first Catholic church was established in Omaha in May or June of 
this year. 

Rev. Henry M. (hHiici- ci-dSM'd the Missouri River in this year and started out 
the work of the Preshytm.-in ( Im n h. Both the Baptists and Presbj'terians organized 
churches at Nebraska City during this year. 

1856. This year saw the foundation of Episcopalian activities in this state, 
with the organization of a mission at Omaha. The Congregational peoi)le also 
secured a start in this year. 

1857. The United Presbyterians inaugiirated their work with the organization 
of a small congregation at Rock Bluffs in Cass County. On January Gth Xebraska 
was established as a separate and relatively independent vicariate apostolic of 
the Roman Catholic Church. 

1858. The Xebraska Baptists Association was organized in 1858. The Con- 
gregational people founded a college at Fontanelle and laid the foundation for the 
splendid work done by the various denominations in educational extension. 

The work of the United Brethren Church in Xebraska began with a conference 
organized in this year by Bishop Edwards, with Rev. J. M. Dosh as the leading 
spirit. Rev. Henry W. Kuhns, pioneer of the work of the Lutheran Church in 
Xebraska, left Pittsburg in this year and came to Xebraska, his first churcii organized 
being the Emmanual Evangelical Lutheran Church of Omaha. 

The various denominations already mentioned were the pioneers in church 
work in Xebraska. 

1860-1870. During the decade of the Civil war and the elevation of Xebraska 
to statehood still other denominations entered this field and began their worthy 
work. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states began 
work in this state in 1868. About that time the Reformed Church also entered 
the state. The Lutheran Missouri Synod's first church was on Rock Creek, 
near Beemer, in Cuming County. 

This decade brought the turning point in the history of the ilethodist Ei)iscopal 
Church in Xebraska. On April 4, 1861, Xebraska was made a separate conference 
and separated from the Kansas-Xebraska conference, which had been operating as 
such since October, 1856. The first Xebraska activities of the church officially had 
been taken in June, 1854, but Rev. Harrison Presson had held a service in this 
territory in April, 1850. 

Thus it will be seen that the Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists began 
church work in Xebraska almost before the permanent settlements were planted, 
and numerous other denominations followed so closely that it is impractical to 
attempt to rank these various splendid bodies in any order of arrival. 


It is impossible to take up each county in the .state and go into ]n-opcr detail 
in presenting the establishment and growth of the various churches, schools and 
fraternal and social societies. But we may be able to grasp a composite view of 
the faithful service rendered in the evolutionary development of the state from a 


primitive wilderness to the wouderful Commonwealth of 1980, by reviewing the 
establishment or organization of the first churches, schools and lodges in the various 
communities. For this purpose we will take a hurried review of the various com- 
munities settled between 1854 and 1870, a period of approximately fifteen years, 
and which carries through the pioneering days of almost all parts of the state. 

Xotini;- which denominations organized the first two or three churches in the 
\:iiiiiiis coiuinunities will give some conception of the activities of each church, 
and will sci've to show that practically all of the stronger denominations were not 
(iiily in this field early, but very much in earnest. 

The fdundation stones of the American Eepublic have been: the Home: 
It was the first institution to be started in any community, for there was no town 
possible until a little group of settlers had established homes, however humble; 
the Siafe, represented in the new border community at first by neighborhood co-op- 
eration in self-defense and guarding; then in local township and county govern- 
ment., and full espousal and participation in state aifairs when the town, the town- 
ship and the county organizations had been perfected; the Church: For no matter 
how far away from the old home back East, or from across the ocean, came the 
courageous settlers of the jSTew West, they usually brought with them the Bible, 
and established Sabbath schools in some parlor, and soon received the holy 
minister of some denomination, and if the denomination to which they had been 
affiliated liack East or across the Shores was not the first or the second to arrive 
in the ww community, they usually worshipped faithfully with the one that did 
come, until their own special denominational form of worship was established in 
the community; the School: All countries have been composed of homes; the 
state in some form of government, and in their better days nestled close to the church. 
But the distinctively American contribution to the welfare of the world, has been the 
Fiihlir Schoul. This is a democratic cornerstone in every sense of the word. Out 
on the wild prairie where were clustered a few humble houses, a store or two, a 
school was opened and the sons and daughters of each family attended school 
together. This idea has been carried out faithfully in American life, and today in 
village, rural district, town, or great city the son of the rich sits beside the son 
or daughter of the poor in this world's wealth. Then came into these new com- 
munitii's mie ninre important faetoi- in wi'Iding a community spirit, the wonder- 
ful social ailbesive. tlie Ameriean Idd-e. hi the busy daj's of the twentieth 
eenliiiT. wiili antiiiiiobiles to ti-a\el in nieei' weather, so many wonderfully developed 
theatre- am! pietnie shows, lecture halls and places of entertainment and instruc- 
tion, and with so many niodeiai conveniences of pianos, player pianos, phonographs 
and libraries in the home, it is hardly ]30ssible for the present generation, with all of 
the devotion it possesses toward its lodges, fraternal societies and social organiza- 
tions to reilize fully what these meant to the pioneer of a generation or two ago. 

Then tliei'c were no phonographs, but few pianos, no complete ]niblic library in 
the town, no automobiles to distract so many hours from menial pleasures, and 
the necessity for a certain amount of social intevconrse and Inunan fellowship with 
his neigldjors could only be satisfied, beyond the neighborly family meetings, in 
tlie lodge room or lecture hall. 

L'eilerating that while we know we cannot take the space to go into every 
conininnity in the state, or into every county, ami ])ull aside the curtain and 
])eer iido the jiast, we will avail ourselves of tlic opportunity to take a "backward" 


look into the establishmeut of church, school and lodge into those communities 
settled during the first fifteen years of the state's growth. 

In order to more fully realize the short space of time that usually elapsed 
before these strengthening and socializing features of individual and community 
life arrived, we will after the name of the town, in parentheses, insert the year 
of its permanent settlement, or actual beginning as a community. 

Bcllcvue (1844). Presbyterian Church — 1855. Holy Trinity Episcopal 18fil. 
The first Masonic Lodge in the state, Nebraska Lodge No. 1, A. F. & A.M. organized 
here in March, 1854. Bellevue Lodge No. 3, Knights of Pythias, July 31, 1869. 
Public school building erected in 1869. The town was settled in 1844, organized 
or incorporated in 1856, and this shows the slow growth before territorial forma- 

Nehrasl-a City (Fort Kearney in 1846-1852-1854). First school taught by 
Miss Martin (later Mrs. Jessen) in spring of 1855. First Baptist Church 
organized August 18, 1855, at the old "frame meeting house." Preaching in 
community' first by Eev. William D. Gage, a Methodist missionary, in 1854. 
Methodist Church organized in 1855 by Reverend Gage. Presbyterians organized 
August 10, 1855, Eev. H. M. Giltner, missionary. All Catholic work until 
1859 in charge of Vicariate Apostolic of Kansas, under Rt. Rev. Bishop S. B. 
Meigs, of Leavenworth, Kan. This territory supplied in early years of Nebraska 
City and vicinity and other communities in southeastern corner of the state, by 
regular visits to various points under the supervision of the Benedictine fathers 
of Kansas. The fii^t regular visitant was Eev. Augustine Wirth, 0. S. B., who 
also visited Omaha. His successor in 1858 was Eev. Francis Cannon, 0. S. B. He 
resided in Omaha for a time, and then came back to Nebraska City. In 1860 
the parish at Nebraska City liad so grown as to receive a regular minister, and 
Father Vogg was assigned to this point. This extended treatment of the early 
Catholic work has been given at this point, so it may be referred to in review of 
other communities without having to repeat it in detail each time. A church was 
started on Kearney Pleights in 1860, and in 1865 a Benedictine sister founded 
an academy here. Western Star Lodge No. 2, A. F. & -A. M., organized 1855. 
Neln-aska City Lodge No. 1, Odd Fellows, May, 1855, later merged in Frontier 
Lodge No. 3. 

Omaha (1853 and 1854). First clergyman to visit Omaha is supposed to 
have been Dr. Gregory of Syracuse, N. Y., a divine of the Episcopal Church, 
and a chaplain at Fort Leavenworth in is:;.'). Clinreh services were first started 
in 1855, and a mission established on July 1:1. \h:,{;. St. Marks, an outgrowth of 
Trinity Mission, 1867, and St. Barnabas Church, May 3, 1869. ¥h->t :\r,tlH).list 
Church started in 1854, with regular missionary in 1855. First Conuic.^.it iiHi;il. 
1855; First Baptist, 1855, Eev. Wm. Leach as missionary. First l'rcsli\ tcii:iii. 
1857, Rev. George P. Bergen first missionary; Latter Day Saints (Mormons) of 
course had a chiireli Iiei'c as early as 1847. A Young Men's Christian Association 
was organized as early as November 22, 1867. 

First public school was opened November 1, 1859. 

Capital Lodge No. 3, A. F. & A. M., organized January 26, 1857. Grand 
Lodge of Nebraska, A. F. & A. M., organized at Masonic Hall in Omaha. 

The Grand Lodge of Nebraska. A.. F. cf: A. M. — This grand Masonic body 
was organized in the Masonic liall in Onialia, September 23, 1857, by delegates from 


Nebraska Lodge No. 1, of Bellevue; Western Star Lodge No. 2, of Nebraska City; 
and Capital Lodge No. 3, of Omaha. Its first officers were R. C. Jordan, Grand 
Master ; L. L. Bowen, Deputy Grand Master ; David Lindley, Grand Senior Warden ; 
L. B. Kinney, Grand Junior Warden; William Anderson, Grand Treasurer; George 
Armstrong, Grand Secretary; John M. Chivington, Grand Chaplain; Horatio 
N. Cornell, Grand Marshal; Charles W. Hamilton, Grand Senior Deacon; John 
A. Nye, Grand Junior Deacon. The officers in 1882 were James E. Cain of Falls 
City. Grand Master; Edwin F. Warren, Nebraska City, Deputy Grand Master; 
S:iiiiucl W. Hayes, Norfolk, Grand Senior Warden; John G. Wemple, Hastings, 
(i)'anil .lunior Warden; Christian Hartman, Omaha, Grand Treasurer; William 
R. Bowen, Omaha, Grand Secretarj-; George Scott, Sutton, Grand Chaplain; 
James S. Gilham, Red Cloud, Grand Orator; Lee P. G-illette, Lincoln, Grand, 
Lecturer; Alfred S. Palmer, Lincoln, Grand Marshal; Francis E. White, Platts- 
mouth. Grand Senior Deacon; Frank E. Bullard, North Platte, G. J. D. ; John 
McClelland, Lincoln, Grand Tiler. The lodge meets annually on the festival of 
St. John the Baptist (June 2-i) at such place as is designated at its previous meet- 

The Grand Chapter of Nebraska, R. A. il., was organized March 19, 1867. 
The first officers were: H. P. Deuel, Grand High Priest; James W. Moore, 
Deputy Grand High Priest: Daniel H. Wheeler, Grand King; Edwin A. Allen, 
Grand Scribe; Orsamu- II. Iri.^h. Grand Treasurer; Elbert T. Duke, Grand Sec- 
retary; George C. I'., it-. Craml Chaplain. The officers in 1882 were Samuel P. 
Davidson, Grand High Priest, Tecumseh ; William H. Mufiger, Deputy Grand 
High Priest, Fremont ; James A. Tulleys, Grand King, Red Cloud ; Henry E. Palmer. 
Grand Scribe, Plattsmoiith ; Christian Hartman, Grand Treasurer, Omaha; Wil- 
liam R. Bowen, Grand Secretary, Omaha; Frank E. Bullard, Grand Chaplain, 
North Platte; Robert W. Furnas, Grand Lecturer, Brownville; Oren N. Wheelock. 
Gi-aii(l I'ajjtain of the Host, Beatrice; Parley M. Hartson, Grand Principal 
Si)jiiimiii-, Omaha; James Tyler, Grand Royal Arch Captain, Lincoln; Ithamar T. 
F.cnjaiiiiii. (irand Master Third Vail, Crete; Walter J. Thompson, Grand Master 
Scriiiiil \'ail. Hebron; John D. Moore, Grand Master First Vail, Grand Island: 
lOmamicl Fist, Jr., Grand Steward, Hastings; Wilson M. Maddox, Grand Steward, 
Falls City: Francis S. White, Grand Sentinel, Plattsmouth. 

Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Nebraska was organized December 
28. 1S71. Its first officers were: H. P. Deuel, Grand Commander; William E. Hill. 
Dejiuty (irand Commander; James M. Hurty, Grand Generalissimo; D. H. 
Wheeler, (irand Captain General; G. C. Betts, Grand Prelate; C. S. Chase, 
Grand Senior Warden; R. H. Oakley, Grand Junior Warden; Henry Bowen, 
Grand Trea.«urer; Robert W. Furnas, Grand Recorder. The officers in 1882 were: 
El)en K. Long, Omaha, Grand Commander; Francis E. 'Wlnte, Plattsmouth. 
Deputy Grand Commander; Samuel G. Owen, Lincoln, Grand Generalissimo: 
Chailc-^ I-!. Palmer. Beatrice, Grand Captain General; Frank E. Bullard, North 
Platte, (irand Prelate: Tlinmas Sewell, Lincoln, Grand Senior Warden; James R. 
Cain, Falls City. Giaml Junior Warden: James S. France, Omaha. Grand Treas- 
urer: William R. Bowen, Omaha, Grand Recorder; Dennis H. Andrews, Crete, 
(irand Standard Bearer: William II. Munger, Fremont, Grand Sword Bearer: 
John J. \Vem])le. Hastings, Grand Warden : Morris L. Alexander, Hastings, Grand 
Cai)tain (if the (iuards. 


The Odd Fellows also secured an early start in Omaha. 

The first lodge of the I. 0. 0. P. in Nebraska was Nebraska Lodge No. 1, 
at Nebraska City, instituted May 29, 1855. This was followed by Omaha Lodge, 
No. 2, which was instituted January 1, 1856, under a dispensation granted by 
the Grand Lodge of the United States, dated November 17, 1855, and signed 
by William Eggleston, Grand Sire. The lodge was organized by J. P. Cassady, 
P. G., of Council Bluffs, and the following officers installed: A. D. Jones, N. G. ; 
T. G. Goodwill, V. G. ; A. S. Bishop, See. ; George Armstrong, Per. Sec. ; H. D. 
Johnson, Treas. This meeting and a few succeeding ones were held in the former 
council cham'ber of the old brick capitol. H. C. Anderson was the first candidate 
initiated into the mysteries of the order. Their meetings were held in Odd Fellow's 
Hall, on every Friday evening. 

Allemanan Lodge No. 8, was instituted ilareh 2G, 1864. The charter members 
were Henry Grebe, W. Doll, J. T. Paulsen, H. Bruening and J. Schneider. The 
first officers were A. Grebe, N. G. ; H. Bruening, V. G. ; J. T. Paulsen, Sec. ; 
W. Doll, Treas. The lodge met every Wednesday evening in Odd Fellow's Hall. 

The Knights of Pythias order was started in Nebra.ska with the organiza- 
tion of Nebraska Lodge No. 1, August 13, 1868, and installed in October. 
George H. Crager came to this state for the purpose of rendering himself con- 
spicuous in promulgating the principles of this wonderful order. Damon Lodge 
No. 2 of the same order was granted a dispensation on the 29th of April, 1869. 

The Grand Lodge of Nebraska, Knights of Pythias, was organized October 
13, 1869, at Pythian Hall, in Omaha, at 515 Fourteenth Street, by the following 
representatives of their respective lodges: H. B. Case, Dr. L. F. Babcock, John 
Taylor, of Nebraska Lodge No. 1, of Omaha ; Dr. 0. S. Wood, J. J. Curtis, E. E. 
French, of Damon Lodge No. 2, of Omaha ; John Q. Goss, of Bellevue Lodge No. 3, 
of Bellevue: John F. Kuhn, Charles Hollo, of Planet Lodge No. 4, of Omaha; 
William L. Wells, of Platte Valley Lodge No. 5, of Plattsmouth. The following 
officers having been elected were presented and installed by Supreme Chancellor 
Read; Yen. G. P., George H. Crager, of No. 1; G. C, David Carter, of No. 2; 
Y. G. C. John Q. Goss, of No. 3; G. E. & C. S., E. E. French, of No. 2; 
G. B., T. ('. Brunner, of No. 1; G. G., William L. Wells, of No. 5 ; G. I. S., 
John F. Kuhn, of No. 4; G. 0. S., John Taylor, of No. 1. There were, in 1882, in the 
State of Xebraska, twenty-seven sxibordinate lodges working by the authority of 
this Grand Lodge. The officers of the Grand Lodge in 1882 were: P. G. C, 
Frederick Mutton; G. C, H. F. Downs; V. G. C, J. G. Jones; G. P., Rev. 
W. E. Copeland ; G. M. of the E., Joseph Rosenstein ; G. K. of R. & S., E. E. 
French: 0. M. at A., L. C. Dunn; G. I. S., Daniel M. Stall; G. 0. S., John Forrcr; 
G. L.. John Q. Goss; S. E., John J. Morrell, Jr., and J. S. Shropshire. The 
Giaiid I, (Mitre met annually at such place as was dei;ignated at its previous meeting. 

riattsmnuth (1853). The first sermon was preached in October, 1856, at the 
house of Thomas Ashley, by Abraham Towner, who was appointed probate judge 
by Governor Cuming in the next March. This illustrates the necessity the early 
settlers often felt of starting religious services before a church could be organized. 
The early churches of this community were: First Baptist, October 17, 1856; First 
Jfethodist Elli^colnll, organized June 29, 1857, with twenty members under 


pastorate of Eev. Hiram Burch. First Presbyterian initiated in May, 1858, tlirough 
.efforts of Eev. Jolm Hughes. Christian Church organized iu May, 1858. St. Luke's 
Protestant Episcopal, August, 1860. St. Jolnrs Catholic, 18()0, buihling erected 
in 18(;i. 

Plattsniouth Lodge Xo. 6, A. F. & A. ^L, dispensation, January IS, 1858. 
Plattsiunuth Lodge Xo. 7, 1. O. O. V.. March i, 1874. 

Tlic lirst school was tauglit in a ininie building then standing on Co.-]iel Hill, 
in I8.j(), by Mary Stocking. 

Brownville (1854). Tbr lir>t district in X'eniaha County was X'o. 1, 
H. S. Thorpe, teacher. By l.s(i(i the cmmty had six districts, with one sdioolhouse 
in Brownville and two in Glen Eock township. 

Cbiistiaii Church organized at Brownville, January. 1855; ^[cthodist Episcopal, 
February. IS.'i.S; Congregational, June 2:3, 1858; Presbyterian, October 31, 1858; 
Clirist Cbureb ( Epis.dpal ), 1863. Xcmaha Valley Lodge Xo. 4, A. F. & A. M., 
(iiganizi'd at tlic resilience of Jesse Xocl on September 27, 1857; I. O. (). F., on 
Scpt.'inbci- v;4. ISol : I. (). (i. T.. Octol)cr 12, 18(i7: Dramatic Society, 1876, 
and C.irnet Band in iscs. 

XriiHiln, Cilij (1.S54). Fir-t ^(•ll(H,l. 1.S57-S. :\rethodists organized in 1857; 
St. Ji.liuV Pn.ti'stant E])i-r..|.al. Sr|,| is. isdO; Christian Church, 1865. 

li ■ Lodge Xo. ■!'.). A. F. .V .\. M.. Xnvenib.T IS. 1868; I. 0. 0. F. Xemaha 

City Lodge Xo. 40. Ortobcr. IsT:;; 1. (). (i. T. (Independent Order of Good 
'Feiiiplars), Xemaha City Lodge X... Km, :\laivli. Is73. As we progres.s through 
ibis review, Ibe numbei's assigned to ibc vai-imis lodges indicate the rate of 
]i|-o;:ress tbai had been made by tbe various leading fraternal orders up to that 

I'lrii ( 1S55). The first sermon in I'cru was hy a iMethodist minister. Rev. 
W. S. Horn, in 1S55. Their chureh was the first erceted iu Peru, in 1859, though 
a ehiss bad been organized in is,-,;. 'I'he fii-<t lo.lge of the Good Templars in 
Xebraska was organized in Peru, and tbivmub its instrumentality a saloon was 
kept out of the town regularly foi' miny years. The district schoolhouse was 
creeted in 1S,-)S. 

\Vasl,iu<ilon CnuDhj Toirii>! (1851); Fontanelle (1854): This town secured 
ibe ebarier U>v a eodegi" named "Xebraska Fiuversily" in 1856, and a Congrega- 
tional Aeaib'iiiy \\as opened that year, with Profosor I'lirt as the first principal. 

FnrI Cillniiii, (1S51). Tn the ^nnuner of 1s:.(;. reliuioiis services were held in 
the eouit bon.e onee a montb. bein- eondneh-d by Kev. Mr. Collins of Omaha, a 
:\reibo(ll^l missionary. 'J'bi^ faei aiiain illustrates tbe nielbods u.sed to secure 
I'eliuinus worship before a chureh could be started. 

Pr Snio (1854). Reverend Collins held meetings here in 1855. .\t one time 
while Ibis gentleman was holding meeting some rowdies threw a dead dog through 
(be winilow from the outside. F^pon which he remarked, "My friends, the devil 
IS not dead in De Soto yet,'" and inunediately resumed the .services. The ^Fethodists 
seeun>d tbeir first resident minister in 1857. 

Ti'kiiuKili (1855). The Presbyterian. :\retbodis(. B.aptist. Lutheran and Epis- 
co]>al were the first five churches erected. ^fethodist organization, 1856. 

Coluinhm (1856). School work was organized in Platte County early in 
1860. St. John's Catholic Church was organised in 1860; the Brothers and 
Sisters of St. Francis established a bositital, monastarv and schocd of the Francis- 


cans in the late 'TOs; Congregational Society or.uauizeil in 1865; Eeorganized 
Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) 1865; Pirsliyti rian, November 1, 1869; 
German Eeformed, 1872; Grace Episcopal, l.Sdlt ; ilctlioilist Episcopal, 1877; 
Baptist, 1880. Wildey Lodge Xo. -1-1, I- 0. O. F., Man-li 5. 1871; Lebanon 
Lodge K"o. 58, A. F. & A. M., June 24, 1875; W. V. T. U. (Women's Christian 
Temperance Union), 1877. 

Fremont (1856). Miss Charity Colson taught school in Fremont during 
the summer of 1858. Miss McXeal the next summer taught the first district 

Congregational Church was first, with Rev. I. E. Heaton as its first pastor, 
November 2, 1856. Methodist organization luade in summer of 1857; St. James 
Episcopal, 1865; Roman Catholic Church was erected in 1869; Presljyterian, 
November 2.S, 1873. German Evangelical also organized in 1873 ; First Baptist, 

Fremont Lodge Xo. 15, A. F. & A. M., dispensation, July 21, 1866; Fremont 
Lodge No. 859, Knights of Honor, January 24, 1878; Royal Arcanum. 1879; 
W. C. T. U., 1877; Y. M. C. A., December, 1869. 

Tecumseh (1857). The Catholic church was the first church building erected 
in Tecumseh, in 1868. Methodists organized in 1865, with settled pastor in 
1873; Presbyterians organized in 1870, and secured a church in 1873. St. Andrews 
Roman Catholic Mission was formed in 1866. Tecumseh Lodge No. 17, A. F. & 
A. M., organized October 3, 1867; Hamlin Lodge Xo. 24, I. 0. 0. F., instituted 
October 9, 1872; G. A. R. organized. May 1879; Tecumseh Lodge Xo. 17, 
K. of P., organized March 30, 18'74; K. 0. H., 1879; W. C. T. U., 1877. 

Falls City (laid out in 1857). Methodist Church organized in Falls City 
in 1856, following similar organization at Archer, in 1855, with Rev. David 
Hart as the traveling missionary of this vicinity. Presljyterian organization, 
1866; St. Thomas Episcopal, 1867; Baptist, 1873; Christian, 1876. Falls City 
Lodge Xo. 13, T. 0. 0. F., September 28, 1869: Richardson County District 
Lodge Xo. 1, L 0. G. T., April 2, 1879 ; Falls City Lodge Xo. 18, Knights of 
Pythias, June, 1874; Falls City Lodge Xo. 9, A. F." & A. M., October 13, 1864; 
G. A. R., 1882. 

Rulo (1857). Methodist Church, 18G4; Baptist, 186G; St. Peters Episcopal, 
1867; The Church of Immaculate Conception, 1870, though Catholic mission here 
since 1858, at times conducted. Orient Lodge, Xo. 13, Masonic, June 19, 1867; 
Rulo Lodge Xo. 12, I. 0. 0. F., January 28, 1869; Rulo Lodge Xo. 132, I. 0. G. T., 
June 7, 1878. 

Beatrice (1857). The first school house in Beatrice was built upon the square 
known as the School Block, with Mrs. Francis Butler as first teaclier. The 
Methodist Church organized about .I860, with Rev. John Foster, as pastor; Presby- 
terian, 1869; Christ Church (Episcopal) April, 1871; Christian Church, October, 
1872 ; First Baptist, 1873 ; German Baptists, commonly called "Dunkards," 1875 ; 
German Methodists in Clatonia precinct, in 1870 ; Lutherans in 1875. Blue 
Lodge X^o. 26, A. F. & A. M., was organized in 1869; Beatrice Lodge Xo. 19, 
I. 0. 0. F., instituted May 24, 1870; Knights of Honor, 1880; G. A. R. post, 
February, 1880; Good Templars, 1874; AV. C. T. IT., 1880. 

Grand Island (1857). As' early as 1864 a private scliool was ccnulucted in the 
neiirhborhood adjacent to present Grand Island, wJiere the first (iraiid Island 


settlement was located. This school was upon the Theo. Xagel farm, and a 
number of scholars attended Mr. Nagel's classes there. The school district Number 
Two, that of the City of Grand Island, was formally organized in 1868. The 
first public school was held in a one-story frame building on Second Street, 
opposite the present City Hall Block. Hon. 0. A. Abbott, Sr., the first lieutenant 
governor of the state, was the first teacher in that public school building. 

The church history of Hall County begins with the establislmient of public 
worship by the Catholics near Wood River in 1861. The first Catholic church 
organization, however, was at Grand Island in 1864, with mass said by Father 
Ryan of Columbus once a month. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Grand 
Island was organized in the summer of 1871. The Methodist Church here was 
organized in February, 1872; Baptist in 187Q; Presbyterian in 1869, by. Rev. 
Shedon Jackson; United Brethren, 1876; Evangelical Lutheran, 1882. Grand 
Island has become the see city of the Western or Platte diocese in Nebraska foi' 
the Catholic Church, with Bishop Dutt'y located here, and is a strong Lutheran 
center, with several Lutheran churches. 

Ashlar Lodge No. 33, A. F. & A. M., organized October 5. 1870; Grand Island 
Lodge No. 60, I. 0. G. T., and Sons of Temperance early in the '70s; Grand 
Island Lodge No. 22, I. 0. 0. F., December 17, 1870; K. of P. Nysian Lodge 
No. 46, 1885. The Grand Lodge of the A. 0. U. W. of the State of Nebraska 
was organized June 8, 1886 at Grand Island. It was chartered under the Supreme 
Lodge, A. 0. U. W., but in 1909 became a separate jurisdiction, and its head- 
quarters is located at Grand Island, where it owns its owti office building. 

From this point on, space will not permit the taking up in detail of every town, 
as it appears on the list of communities settled, and a few more cities in different 
]iarts of the state will be sfelected. to illustrate the spread of the various denomina- 
tiiiiis and orders throughout the state. 

Kf'iinifii/ (1866). The first church organized in Kearney was the Methodist 
]':piscni)al. October 20, 1871, by Elder A. G. White and Rev. A. Collins; Presby- 
terian. 1872; Congregational, 1872: Baptists built in 1878 and Christian in 
1879, and Episcopalians in 1882. The Roman Catholic Church was erected in 

Robert Morris Lodge No. 45. A. F. & A. M., organized in 1875; Buffalo 
Lodge 38, I. O. 0. F., 1873; G. A. R., 1874: Good Templars, 1873; W. C. T. U., 
in 1873. 

Xiirlli I'latfi' (lS(i(i). 'i'ho first school was taught in a smnll log house in 
iscs. The first (Imnli services in North Platte were held by a Rev. :\Ir. 
Cdoke, a Lutheran minister. The Baptists built the first church in ISTl. The 
Episcopal Chnrch was built in 1873. The Catholic, Presbyterian. Unitarian. 
Lutheran and ilethodist built later in the '70s. 

Lincoln (1867). The first school in Lincoln was taught in a small 
stone schoolhouse, built by the directors in the fall of 1867, and situated at the 
collier of and Eleventh streets. After the school had graduiited to a better 
buihliiig, this landmark became a temporary' bastile for the confinement of the 
offenders against the peace of the city. 

The first church organized in Lincoln was the Congregational, on August 19, 
1866. or in fact this was in Lancaster, as the ]ilace was then named. The other 
denomiiialions came in soon after the location of this fair. Cai)ital Citv; German 


Methodist, 1867; Methodist in the spring of 1868 with their first house of worship 
on Tenth Street; Eoman Catholic, in 1868, and their beautiful St. Theresa 
edifice built in 1879; Presbyterian, 1869; Episcopal, Novenrber 17, 1868, with a 
vestry chosen in May, 1869; Baptist, August 22, 1869; Christian, winter of 
1869; Universalist, September 1, 1870; African Methodist, 1873; Colored Bap- 
tists, 1879; Lincoln not only started out with numerous churches, but no city 
of its size ever more faithfully, loyally and sincerely supported church work and 
moral reforms of every creed, purpose and description. Having grown to a city 
with a student population of approximately seven to nine thousand within its gates 
nine months in the year, attending the State University and almost a dozen other 
colleges and schools within its borders and suburbs, this community feels a special 
responsibility to keep a wholesome atmosphere tending to the student welfare; 
even at the expense of certain pleasures for its own citizens that many other com- 
munities accept. 

Four chapters of the Masonic order were early instituted in Lincoln : Lincoln 
Lodge No. 19, 1868; Lancaster Lodge, No. 54, 1874; and the Chapter No. 6, 
R. A. M., 1878, and Commandery No. 4, 1871. The Odd Fellows instituted three 
lodges: Capital No. 11, 1868; Lancaster, No. 39, 1873; and Germania, No. 67, 
1878; K. P. P. Lincoln Lodge No. 16, 1873, and the various orders came in as 
rapidly as possible during the '70s and early '80s. 

Schuyler (1869). Early churches were Presbyterian, 1869; Methodist Epis- 
copal, 1869 ; Holy Trinity Parish of Episcopal, July 4, 1870 ; St. Paul's Catholic, 
organized in 1879; and Seventh Day Adventists, 1881. 

Acacia Lodge No. 34, A. F. & A. M., June 19, 1872 ; Sclrayler Lodge No. 28, 
I. 0. 0. F., July 8, 1871; Sheridan Post, No. 34, G. A. R., February 25, 1880. 

Walioo (1869). Schools w^ere started in Wahoo and at section 26, three miles 
north of Wahoo, shortly after the first settlements, and a school house was built in 
the country as early as 1870. 

The 'Congregational society organized in Wahoo, in 1870, but services had 
been held for two years preceding in the sclioolhouse. The Fremont and Wahoo 
Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized in 1871; the Methodist's first class 
in 1873; Catholic parish was organized in 1879, and Baptist in 1876. 

Masonic Lodge here was started January 30, 1875, and Pioneer Lodge, C. S. P. 
S., March 24, 1878. 

BJair (1869). First school, 1869, taught by Miss Sarah E. Kibby, though 
in 1868 Miss Lida M. Newall taught in the same little log liouse. Methodist 
Episcopal church moved over from Cuming City in the summer of 1869. Con- 
gregational work started February 12, 1870; Baptists, April, 1869, and their 
building was brought over from Cuming City in the fall of 1872. United 
Brethren built in 1879 and the Catholics late in the seventies. Cuming City 
Lodge No. 21, Masonic, chartered June 25, 1868, and name changed in November, 
1869, to Washington Lodge. The Odd Fellows were instituted October 1, 1869; 
John A. Dix Post of G. A. R., organized July 2, 1880. 

Fairhury (1869). The first school, in 1870, taught by Dr. R. S. ('ha|.in;m. 
The early churches were. First Baptist, July 3, 1878, but services hail started in 
1S70; Methodist, established October, 1870; Presbyterian, January, 1871 : Christian, 
Oi'tober, 1871 ; Fairhury Lodge No. 35, A. F. & A. M., 1S71 ; Lodge No. 54, Odd 
Fellows, 1871: Russell Post No. 77, G. A. R., September 10. 1881. 

226 , IIIST()1;Y of XEBKASKA 

Norfolk (1869). The first churcli building was erected iu the fall of 1867 by 
the Gerinaii Lutherans. This congregation built a nice structure in 1878 and a 
second German Lutheran congregation also built that year. Cougregationalists 
built iu 1872, tlie Catholics in 1882, and the Methodists and Episcopalians in the 
meantime. Mosaic Lodge No. 55, A. F. & A. M., started October 1, 1874; Xorfolk 
Lodge No. 46, I. 0. 0. F., June 10, 1874. 

Madison. This town was settled in 1.S75, and is county seat of iladison County. 
The Presbyterian Church was organized here in 1870; Catholic, IS.SO; Lutiieraus, 

SctranI (1870). Early cliurches organized in Seward were: First Presl)yterian, 
August, 18C7, churcli built in ISTn; First Methodist, as a mission in 1869, for- 
mally organized July :>. IsTii; First Missionaiy Baptist, March 1, 1870; St. 
John's Lutheran, ilarch, 1874; (iciinan Evangelical. 1S77 ; United Brethren, 
1.S79. Oliver Lodge No. 38, A. F. .V A. AI.. July ".".i. ISTl ; ]. (). 0. F., Seward 
Lodge No. 26, instituted May 30, isn ; S..w,M-d I'ost No. :i. G. A. R., December 16, 

Milford (18G6). In Sewanl County the Congregational Church organized 
April 10, 1860; Baptist, in summer of 1870; Methodist Episcopal had a mission 
at ]\Iilford as early as 1866. Emmanuel Evangelical Church was organized in May, 
18S(i. r.lue River Lodge No. 30, A. F. & A^!" :\I., chartered April 25, 1870; Mi'l- 
fonl Lodge \<i. IS. 1. (). (). F.. chartered :\Iay 'MK ISTK; WiusUnv Post. G. A. R,, 
mustei-rMl ill S.'pteiiilicr 1. ]SS((. .1. 11. CuIvit. Company K, Fir~t Wisroiisin 
Infantry, one of the charter mcinbers of lliis j.ost, lias been a l.-ader in G. A. R. 
work in Nebraska, and he and nunierous associates were iiistruuu'ntal in securing 
a. soldiers' home for Milford. 

York (1870). The school district was organized June 14, 1871. The organi- 
zation of the Methodist class was perfected in the spring of 1871 at the David 
Baker home. Ex-Judge W. E. 'Morgan took charge of this as the York Mission, 
which then included the cntiiv roimty. The Presbyterian church organized 
July 23, 1S71, in a group of chns. St. Jose]ih"s Catholic was started as a mission 
in I.S77. Congir-atioiial Cliuivh. ISV.'; Universalist, 1880. York Lodge No. 
56, A. F. cV- .V. ^\.. granted .li>|..Misntioii .\iigust 2, 1874; York Lodge No. 35, 
1. 0. O. F., rhartered 0,toi,er 2. l,s;2; Ifobert Anderson, Post Xo. 24'.' G. A. 1{.. 


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This brief review of the development of .Xebraska would not be com-plete 
without a brief chronological charting of the many wcuiderl'iil institutions of 
hi.irher education built u]i in Nebraska. This state has taken an interest in educa- 
tion not surpassed liy any coiiimoinvealth in the country. The separate liistory of 
practically every county in the state will show that the silioolhouse arrived about 
the same time as the first log h<iiises, the courthouse, m- anv business houses. 


In fact, many of tlie first schools of the state, like the Cliurch Sabbath schools 
started in the living room of some good mother who not only realized the necessity 
of giving instructions to her own children, but gathered under her wing those of her 
neighbors. Froip the small sodily or rough hut of logs and rough boards, the 
school house soon graduated to a small Iniildiug of its own, which it generally 
shared with the Sunday and mid-week evening church services, until the churcli 
also was housed in its own home. But Nebraska has not stopped with the graded 
schools and its wonderful high schools, but it has a myriad of small colleges and 
several larger universities. Its State University has enjoyed such a phenomenal 
growth in attendance that it has up to date been impossible to keep an adequate 
building program moving as fast as the university's growth and physical needs. 
Tiie attendance of this institution places it in the rank of the foremost dozen schools 
of the nation. But no adequate amount of credit can ever be given to the various 
denominations of this state, who have fostered and developed a group of small 
colleges, not so important in quantity of attendance, but surpassed by no schools, 
big or little, east or west, in the quality of their work, the splendid atmosphere and 
cultural opportunities they afford. 

1855. The Congregational people were the pioneers of higher education in 
Nebraska. Just as these people fostered the foundation of Harvard in 1636 and 
Yale in 1701, they came into Nebraska as early as 1858 and took measures to lay 
the foundation of a "literary institution of a high order in Nebraska." This 
resulted in the foundation of a scliool located at Fontanelle, in February, 1855, 
known as the Fontanelle School, which was transferred to the Congregationalists 
in 1858. Fontanelle missed the distinction of becoming a railroad center. Fremont 
secured the county seat of Dodge County and Fontanelle was set over into Wash- 
ington County, and all of these circumstances conspired against its becoming a 
school center, with the ultimate result that this institution was abandoned, and 
the new Doane College at Crete became its successor in 1872.' 

1863. The institution with longest continuous existence in the state is Brownell 
Hall, a girl's school at Omaha started by the Episcopal Church. Bishop Talbot 
had purchased a property in 1861 in old Saratoga, at what is now Twenty-fourth 
and Grand Avenue, of the City of Omaha. A girl's boarding school was started 
soon thereafter and named "Brownell" in honor of the Bishop of Connecticut, 
a diocese from which considerable financial aid was being received for this work. 

1869. The Umversity of Nebrasha was the next educational institution in point 
of time, and the first great educational endeavor of the state. The legislature in 
1869 founded this university and provided for its organizations by legislative acts, 
also in 1875 and 1877. Students were received first in 1871 and its growth 
has continued until it has reached the neighborhood of approximately five thousand. 

The congressional act of 1862 had provided for an endowment of land in 
each state for the maintenance of at least one college in each state. Nebraska's 
share of such land amounted to 90,000 acres, and the enabling act of 186-i set 
aside seventy-two sections of land for this purpose, the grant also requiring that 
instruction must be given in military training. The legislative act of 1869 fixed the 
board of regents at twelve, but the constitution of 1875 fixed this board at six 
members, elected at large, for six year terms, the new constitutional amendments 
of 1920 fixing the election of these regents by districts. The university act also 
provided for a morlel farm on two sections of agricultural lands, and this enter- 


prise was located about two miles and a half from the main campus, and has 
developed into the large "State Farm" or Agricultural College campus. The 
university has spread its activities now, so that in addition to the two campuses 
in and about the city of Lincoln, it has a large medical college and state hospital 
at Omaha; an agricultural college at Curtis, an irrigation college at Seottsbluff, 
and experiiiiriif;il Mili>tations at Xorth Platte, Valentine and Seottsbluff. 

The Univci-iiy nl \rl)raska has been fortunate in the high character and stand- 
ing of the nu'ii who have held the ofRce of chancellor. These men have been: 
Allen K. Benton, January fi, 1870, to June 22, 1876; Edmond B. Fairfield, June 
2;i, 1876, to 1883; Dean E. B. Hitchcock, acting chancellor, 1883, to January 1, 
1884; Irving J., January 1, 1884, to June 1, 1889; Charles E. Bessey, act- 
ing chancellor, January 1, 1889, to August 1, 1891, and Dean Bessey preferring 
remaining in charge of the botany work to assuming permanently either the 
responsibilities of the executive administration of the great school or accepting 
any of the many more lucrative offers he received in the latter years of his life 
from other schools; James H. Canfield, August 1, 1891, to September 1, 1895; 
George E. MacLean, September 1, 1895, to September 1, 1899 ; Charles E. 
Bessey served again from September 1, 1899, to August 1, 1900 ; E. Benjamin 
Andrews, August 1, 1900, to January 1, 1909 ; Samuel Avery, acting chancellor, 
January 1, 1909, to May 20, 1909, when he was made chancellor. Professor 
Avery M'as head of the Department of Chemistry and was chosen as a result of 
desire to select some man from the staff of the university, an alumnus and a 
thorough Nebraskan rather than to import an educator for this responsibility. 
Chancellor Avery is still serving in 1921, but during his absence in war service in 
1918 Dean W. G. Hastings of the Law College was acting chancellor. 

The buildings of the university include not only the old familiar landmarks, 
such as University Hall, built in 1869-70; Chemical Laboratory, 1885-6; Grant 
Memorial Hall, 1888; Nebraska Hall, 1888-9; Boiler House, 1889; Electrical 
Power House, 1891; Library Building, 1892 and 1896; Mechanics Art, 1898, 
but also the many new buildings at the farm campus, and the new Bessey Hall, 
Social Science Hall and the other buildings being erected in accordance with the 
new program adopted in 1914 and 1915. 

The compiler of this historical review is going to depart at this point from his 
prevailing rule of brevity which is shutting out of this work many things he knows 
the readers would appreciate, to include a rather lengthy address delivered on 
Charter Day, February 15. ISSl. liy Vm!. Samuel Aughey, one of the first 
professors, to whom we are indebted for many of the facts concerning the geological 
and natural features of Nebraska. Li the compilation of the lengthy History of 
Nebraska in 1882 by the Western Hi.storical Company, it was seen fit also to 
insert this. It will give the reader an early history not only of the State University, 
but also of the difficulties and struggles of early higher education in Nebraska. 

''The Territorial Legislature of 1865 and 1866 prepared a State Constitution, 
wliich was submitted to the people June 2, 1866. It was preceded by a somewhat 
l)ifter di.scussion. Among the arguments urged for its adoption was the fact that 
the sooner it was accomplished the finer the lands that could be obtained for educa- 
tional and internal improvement purposes. After the vote was taken the constitu- 
tion was declared carried. One of the provisions of the enabling act wa,« that lands 
for an agricultural college and university must be accepted within three years, and 


colleges opened within five years afterwards. The trust was accejsted by the State, 
and it received from the general government the promised gift. It is questionable 
whether the lands for internal improvements were wisely expended. Fortunately, 
however, the lands for the endowment of the agricultural college and university 
remain comparatively intact, and a wise provision of law prevents them from be- 
ing squandered. The leasing and sale of them is so regulated as ultimately to 
secure a princely endo\\Tnent for these institutions. 

"The Legislature that met in January, 186,9, passed an act on the 15th of Febru- 
ary — twelve years ago — to establish a state university, vesting its government in a 
board of regents, to be appointed, in the first instance, by the governor, who was 
ex-oflBcio chairman ; the superintendent of public instruction and the chancellor of the 
university being also members of the board. Under the new constitution the gov- 
ernment is vested, as is well known, in a board of six regents, whose terms of office 
last six years, two new ones being elected every two years by the people. Previous 
to this — June 14, 1867 — in the act for locating the seat of government, the agricul- 
tural college and the state university w-ere united. 

"By an act of February 15, 1869, the governor, secretary of state, and auditor 
were appointed to sell the unsold blocks in Lincoln owned by the state, and to locate 
and erect a university building. Of the sum realized in this way, $100,000 was 
appropriated for this purpose. On the following first of June the plans and speci- 
fications prepared by M. J. McBird, then of Logansport, Indiana, were accepted by 
the capital commissioners for the university building. These plans were submitted 
to the board of regents June 3, 1869, and accepted, subject to any modifications 
which they might suggest. The contract for building was given to T). J. Silver & 
Son, of Logansport, Ind., on the same day. About the middle of July, the contrac- 
tors commenced work, and the walls were so far completed by September 23, that 
the corner stone could be laid, which was done with Masonic ceremonies, under the 
management of the Grand Lodge of the State. The committee of citizens who had 
charge of the ceremonies raised a subscription among themselves and hired a band 
in Omaha for $375 and expenses. They traveled here all the way from Omaha in 
carriages. A free banquet to all the citizens from abroad was also given by the 
people, at their own expense. The basement was completed during the first week 
in December. In the meantime the architect had made such changes and amend- 
ments in the plan of the building as the regents had indicated. These changes 
greatly increased the cost of the building. The contract for completing the univer- 
sity was finally given to D. J. Silver & Son, in pursuance of advertisements, for 
$128,480, which, with the previous cost of the excavation and basement, made the 
entire cost $152,000. 

"The contractors for the university pushed the work with remarkable energy. 
At this day it is hard to realize the disadvantages under which they labored. The 
lumber was shipped from Chicago to East Xebraska City, four miles east of the 
Missouri in Iowa, opposite to the present Xebraska City. It was hauled to Lin- 
coln in wagons, over wretched roads, a distance of sixty-five miles. The contrac- 
tors paid $10 a cord for wood with which to burn brick, and which was hauled from 
twenty to thirty-five miles. On April 7, 1870, the brick work was commenced, and 
tliough there was an interruption of three weeks for want of brick, the walls were 
completed and the roof on by the middle of the following August. In eighty-two 
days 1,500,000 brick were made and put in these university walls. The university 


building has from that time been under the guardianship of the board of regents. 
They detei'mined to open it the year following its completion. By their permission 
this chapel was used for various literary entertainments,, up to the time of its for- 
mal opening, on September 7, 1871. 

"Here let us pause to consider the step which this then infant state took in un- 
dertaking the establishment of a university. AYhen the bill establishing a university 
became law on February 15, 1869, the population was barely 100,000. Even the 
few high schools that existed could barely prepare students for the freshman class, 
and very few students anywhere were in such stage of preparation. The state, 
too, was mainly settled by persons of comparatively small means, seeking homes 
for themselves and families. Little (if the prairie had yet been brought under agri- 
cultural subjection. The state was rich prospectively, but really poor practically. 
And yet it was proposed to establish such an institution several years in advance of 
the time required by the United States law, in order to hold the large grants of land 
"for the support of the agricultural college and university. Under these circum- 
stances many claimed that it would be wiser to wait for an increase in population 
and wealth, and the building up of preparatory schools before inaugurating such 
an enterprise. Others again wished to relegate the higher education wholly to the 
Christian denominations, by whom for generations it had been controlled in the 
Eastern States. 

"Against these arguments, on the other hand, it was urged that a new state 
could not too early establish the higher educational institutions. That the most 
distinguished colleges in the East originated during the infancy of the common- 
wealths which they have made glorious; that Massachusetts, for example, owes her 
political and intellectual glory to the fact that Harvard has for generations, and 
from its earliest history, been training her sons; that Yale performed the same 
duty for another colony, and is now great because she, too, began her career so 
early in the history of the commonwealth which she also is making illustrious. 
There were others, too, who felt at that time, and urged it upon the people of the 
state, that the time had come when an advance should be made on traditional 
methods of education. The state had provided a magnificent free school system. 
To perfect that scheme, the higher education needed to be furnished to the youth of 
the state on the same terms as the common schools provided elementary instruc- 
tion. T(i do this, a iiniversity was needed — a university 'by the people and for the 
peojile' — an institution whicli should lie expressive of intellectual life, not of the 
].ast or present, but of all tinu'. 

■•Thrre were many advanced siiirits in Nebraska even at that early day. They 
realizcil that culture was something desirable for its own sake. Prairies indeed had 
to be subdued, but other interests besides that of the dollar were most desirable, and 
among these culture in distinction from mere knowledge, technical or general, was 
regarded as most important. There was anotiier class more limited than the former 
in influence and numbers, that desired a university solely because of the advertise- 
nu'nt whicli it would give the state abroad, 'i'hey held, and that truthfully, that an 
institution of learning of high grade would attract the cultivated emigrants into 
our i)()rders, and be the most powerful factor in securing the settlement of this infant 
commoinvealth. Others again, and this was a still smaller class, a class that had 
received a one-sided impulse, by a narrow range of reading and study, could see no 
good in a universitv unless its professors devoted themselves wholly to studies in 


natural history or physics. They ijointecl to the unstudied resources of this new- 
state, to its comiDaratively unknown botany, zoology, and geology, and claimed 
that the making known what the State was and could be made to be in these partic- 
ulars was itself justification enough for tlic cstalilishment of a university. 

"It should also ever be remembered tliat tlic public sentiment that established 
the university was mainly created by young or comparatively young men. The 
early lc,i:i>^liitiiies of the state were principally made up of such. These young men 
KQYv f\(c|iti(>ii:illy able and enterprising, and came here to help create a eommon- 
wealtli when the elTorl meant personal risk, sacrifice, and toil of unusual severity. 
To learh Neliiii.-ka twenty years ago involved the crossing of Iowa in stage coaches 
through a sparsely settled region for half the distance, or a longer and more tortuous 
Journey by boat from St. Louis. Many of the young men who came here at that 
early day have reached great distinction in the professions, in business, or in poli- 
tics. I need only refer to Hon. J. M. Woolworth, A. J. Poppleton, E. S. Dundy, of 
the U. S. Court, C. Briggs, 0. P. Mason, T. M. Marquett, and others who have won 
great distinction at the bar or on the bench, or both. Dr. George L. Miller, J. Ster- 
ling Morton, R. W. Furnas, J. M. McMurphy, Bishop Talbot, Lieut. Isaac T. Web- 
ster (now professor of military science in this university) and brother, and Profes- 
sor Dake, of blessed memory, also came caily. .iikI iln' most of them at the first organ- 
ization of the Territory. Ex-Senator HiielicDck. and the present U. S. senators, 
were also among the first settlers of the state. These then young men, and others 
to whom I can not even allude, who have since won great distinction, and possessed 
abilities and character to make them marked in any state, moulded this young com- 
monwealth. The most of them have been, and still are, the warm friends and sup- 
porters of this laniversity, and no better evidence of this can be given than the elo- 
quent and able literary addresses with which they honored us on opening and on 
commencement occasions. Every lawyer and every judge knows that the statutes 
framed by the young men referred to in the early legislatures of the state, while 
yet a territory, are remarkably luminous and able compared with the laws which 
have been enacted in our later history." 

"It has long since been observed that the best endowment of a university is the 
endowment of commanding and noble intellect and character. Such an endowment 
alone makes a university possible — makes it the center of intellectual light and 
quickening influence. With such characters this university was blessed in its early 
hi.story. Whether it has fulfilled the promise of its youth it is not for me to say on 
this occasion. It is not, however improper to express the conviction that after years 
will recognize the fact that even now magnificent work is being done, work that will 
blossom into beauty and noble achievements. It is one of the infirmities (if man- 
kind that character often is not appreciated or understood until it is se|iarate.l liy 
distance or removed by death. I have myself even yet, after many disappiiintinents, 
unbounded confidence in the final success of this institution. It is a creature and a 
child of the state and the age. The training already given here, the young men and 
women sent forth from these walls into tlie battle of life, the literary work, and 
scientific work done here, are an earnest of a glorious future. Students themselves, 
their character, their work, their attainments, their abilities acquired in tlie studies 
and literary contests of the university, along with that of tbe faenlty. an' a furee 
that must lift this university in the order of natni-e into a proniinenee and a power 
for sood, second to no other in the trreat reuuljlie." 


In addition to its regular functions of higher education, various departments 
of the university have by legislative action been made official state departments in 
charge of the particular activity. Some of these are : the work of the Agricultural 
College in handling farmers' institutes; farm demonstrators; the agricultural exten- 
sion bureau, which is the state department in charge of various county and local 
farm bureaus; state vocational education, as the teacher training school for the 
training of teachers for Smith-Hughes agricultural-vocational educational courses 
in high schools ; home economics section of university extension service ; the professor 
of entomology (Prof. Lawrence Bruner is the state entomologist in charge of 
the work of "investigation, control and extermination of insect pests and plant 
diseases"), and the professor of geology is the state geologist (Prof. E. H. Bar- 
bour), and George E. Condra is in charge of the work of the Xebraska Conserva- 
tion and Soil Survey, a department which has performed wonderful service in the 
various county and district "soil surveys" of Nebraska. The professor of botany 
is the state botanist, and the professor of that subject at the experiment station 
is the state plant pathologist. The Legislative Eeference Bureau is another depart- 
ment of the university which has done invaluable work in collecting, compiling 
and publishing historical, legislative and legal data and information. This depart- 
ment has compiled the recent issues of the Nebraska Blue Book, and its head, 
Hon. Addison E. Sheldon, has not only compiled several smaller works on Nebraska 
history, but his "Annals of Nebraska" in the 1915 Blue Book is the pioneer 
presentation of Nebraska history in any systematic condensed, chronological style. 

1869-1889. The majority of the higher educational institutions of the state 
were founded in the two decades following the elevation of Nebraska into statehood. 
It will only be possible to present tlie order of foundation of these institutions and 
to classify them by sources of support. 

1872 (Doane College at Crete). This school was the successor of the school 
fostered by the Congregational people at Fontanelle. An Academy had been 
located at Crete in 1871, but this school started there in 1872 and has grown into 
an institution with an attendance of around two hundred, but a standing for 
scholastic quality surpassed by no school in the Middle West. 

1874 (Creighton University). This is the second largest school in Nebraska 
and received its impetus from a provision in the will of Mr. Edward Creighton, 
and a later provision in the will of his wife, providing for the establishment of a 
school of the class and grade of a college in Omaha. The school was incorporated 
on August 14, 1879. It has grown to be a great university with not only the univer- 
sity courses, and academy, under the administration of the Jesuit Order, but great 
colleges for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law. The medical department 
received the name of the "John A. Creighton Medical College," established in 
1892, through the beneficence of "Count" John A. Creighton, brother of Edward 
Creighton. The Edward Creighton Institute became the home of the dentistry 
and law departments, until the recent erection of new buildings upon tlio main 

1880. Mr. Henry T. Clarke, then of Bellevue. gave to tlic Presbyterian people 
in 1880, 264 acres of land as a site for a college. The college was opened in 
1883. This school is still a wonderfully efficient link in the chain of educational 
institutions of the state. 

1881. The people of Hastings had tried as far back as 1874 to interest the 


Presbyterian synods in the establishment of a college at that point. But even the 
acquisition of a school of that denomination by Bellevue, did not stop them and 
they continued their efforts until steps were taken in September, 1881, toward 
a Presbyterian academy at Hastings, which was incorporated as Hastings Col- 
lege, May 10, 1882. The education work began in September, 1882, and has con- 
tinued without interruption for practically forty years. 

1884. The Baptists of the state had been looking forward since their first 
convention in 1867 toward establishing an institution of learning. This desire 
took form in 1884 by the formation of a society, which accomplished the establish- 
ment of Grand Island College, and the same was opened in 1892, with thirty-two 
students in attendance. It has flourished spasmodically as the years have passed, 
and in 1920 is entering a new era in its existence, with the location of the Nebraska 
State Convention headquarters at Grand Island and a recentering of the efforts, 
financial and otherwise, of this denomination upon making this one of the great 
schools of the state. 

1887. In this year the Nebraska Christian Missionary Society resolved to 
"receive and accept propositions" looking toward the incorporation of a Christian 
university. This resulted in the acquisition of some three hundred acres of land 
north of Lincoln, in the suburb of Bethany and the establishment of Cotner 
University there. The institution, has grown to the point of having two colleges, 
liberal arts and medicine, of the latter of which Dr. Prank L. Wilmeth is president. 
Dr. William P. Aylsworth who served for more than fifteen years as chancellor of 
this institution was an important factor in its success. 

This year (1887) saw the arrival of an institution of learning at Univer^^ity 
Place, another suburban town near Lincoln, destined to become one of the three 
or four largest in the state. The Methodist people had supported a college at 
York, Nebraska, since 1879, the York Seminary, opened in 1880. They also had 
a conference seminary at Central City, some forty miles distant, started in 1884. 
An institution called Mallalieu University had started at Bartley in 1886. A 
commission of five members from each conference and three from each school 
met at Lincoln late in 1886 and decided to center the efforts of this denomination 
upon a school located at a townsite laid out and named "University Place." This 
resulted in the foundation of Wesleyan University. 

1890. Ground was broken in April, 1890, for another educational institution 
around Lincoln, with the location of Union College by the Seventh Day Adventists 
at College View. 


Source of Support. The foregoing roster of Nebraska higher education insti- 
tutions is by no means complete. But to make this subject more completely covered, 
even at the expense of some repetition, it may not be amiss to relist these schools 
and numerous other educational institutions by another method of classification. 


The University of NebrasJca, Lincoln, already covered at more length than any 
other Nebraska school. The State Agricultural School of State University, at 
Lincoln; State Agricultural School, at Curtis; State Irrigation School and experi- 


mental station, Scottsbluff : State Mudical College aud Hospit;il. Oiiiulia : State 
experimental schools, Valentine and North Platte. 

State Normal School at Peru. This was established by legislative act passed 
March 1, 1867, immediately after admission of the state to the Union. Col. T. J. 
Majors and William Daily were members of the Legislature and helped to fruition 
plans laid in Peru as early as 1865. It would not be amiss to pause long enough 
to pay passing tribute to the twelve men who have served at the head of an institu- 
tion in existence for almost fifty-five years. J, M. McKenzie, 1867-1871; Henry 
IT. Straight, 1871; A. D. Williams, 1871-72; Gen. T. J. Morgan, 1872-1875; L. S. 
Thompson, 1875-1877; Robert Curry, 1877-1883; George L. Farnam, 1883-1893; 
A. W. Norton, 1893-1896; J. A. Beattie, 1896-1900, who in recent years has been 
a prominent compiler of Nebraska history; W. A. Clark, 1900-1904; J. W. 
Crabtree, 1904-1910, and D. W. Hayes, since 1910. 

State Normal School at Kearney. This school was established by the Legislature 
of 1903 to serve the western, central and southwestern parts of the state, which 
complained that Peru was too far east. More than ten towns sought this institu- 
tion, but Kearney was the successful contestant. The first building was completed 
in December, 1905. Prof. A. 0. Thomas later state superintendent of public instruc- 
tion was president until 1914, when George S. Dick succeeded him, and G. H. 
Martin is now head of this school. 

State Normal School at Wayne. This school was taken over by the state in 
1910, after nineteen years' existence as a private normal school, under the manage- 
me'nt of President J. M. Pile. Prof. IT. S. Conn, then superintendent of city 
schools of Columbus, was chosen by the State Normal Board and has continued 
as president of this school since its acquisition by the state. 

State Normal School at Chadron. The Legislature of 1909, in addition to 
making the provision that resulted in acquiring the school at Wayne, provided for a 
similar state normal school in the northwestern part of the state, and Chadron 
was the successful contestant among the towns that sought that institution. An 
academy fostered by Congregational churches since 1888 laid the foundation for 
higher educational work at Chadron. Joseph Sparks was president of this school 
the first seven years after the state took it over, and Eobert I. Elliott has .«erved 
since 1916. 


Of course, nuinerieally, the vast majority of higher educational institutions in 
Nebraska have been established, fostered and sustained by the various religious 
denominations of the state. 

Baptist. The great effort of this denomination has been centered ujion Grand 
Island College, at Grand Island. 

Catholic. The greatest effort of this cinii-cii has been likewise centered upon 
Creighton University, at Omaha. These schools, which have been mentioned at 
more length earlier in this chapter, will not be so fully elaborated in this section. Of 
course the Catholic Church' in Nebraska has built up and supported numerous 
other smaller educational institutions in Nebraska, in addition to a system of 
parochial graded and high schools which reaches almost all of the more important 
towns and villages of the state, where they have a very numerous membership. 

Chrisllnu. 'I'lie educatiniial .-U't ivitie> of this ilenoniiiiation have liecn in;iiiily 



devoted to two institutions, Cotner University at Bethany, near Lincoln, and its 
predecessor, Fairfield College at Fairfield, in Clay County. The latter school was 
opened in 1884 and flourished until after its support was switched over to Cotner. 

Presbyterian. The comments already furnished concerning Bellevue College at 
Bellevue, and Hastings College at Hastings, show the early entrance into the 
educational work and their persistent, continuous application to the same, demon- 
strated by this church. In addition to these, the Omaha Seminary was opened in 
Kountze Place, Omaha, in 1902. This developed into flic new University of 
Omaha, whicli was established in 1915 and is a ui-ciwiiiii;, Ibiiiiishing institution, 
continuing not only the seminary work, but full cDllegiatf work, with a law college, 
and plans to branch into other professional lines when circumstances permit. 

United Brethren. The work of this church in educational lines was begun at 
Gibbon in 1886, with the establishment of the Gibbon Collegiate Institute. This 
school was re-located at York in 1890, which city had not been satisfied since it 
had lost its original York College in 1886 iipon the establishment of Wesleyan 
University at University Place. The new York CollfL'c stinted in 1890, had 
continued in a gradual growth and steady improvement for twenty years, and is 
now one of the important smaller colleges of the state. 

Danish Lutherans. Their work educationally in this state, started at Argo, 
Neb., in 1884, with a school for future ministers. This developed later into the 
Trinity Theological Seminary at Blair, the first school of its kind among Danish 
Lutherans in the United States, and eventually at Blair was built up Dana 'College, 
now the leading Danish college of this country. 

Lutheran Church. The Lutheran Seminary at Seward was founded in 1894, 
despite the drought conditions then existing, and has grown and prospered ever 
since then. At Deshler, Thayer County, the Lutherans have build and maintain 
a splendid institution. The Lutheran High School and Business College, main- 
tuined by the Missouri Synod was built at Deshler in 191-3. Luther. College started 
at Wahoo in 1882, is a continuing institution. 

Seventh Day Adventists. This church has Union College at College View, 
which has become the official educational institution for a territory embracing over 
twenty states of the Union and reaching into western Canada. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. The great educational institution of this church 
in this state has become Wesleyan University at University Place, near Lincoln. 
Mention has heretofore been made of York College, started in 1879 and later aban- 
doned for Wesleyan ; Central City Seminary opened in 1884, and a school at Bartley. 

Congregational. Doane College has been the central educational activity of 
this congregation. The early academy at Chadron has been mentioned. These 
people also in 1881 fostered the organization of an academy at Franklin, Xeb. 
Weeping Water Academy was opened in 1885. A normal training school was main- 
tained for some years for the Santee Indians. 

Lutheran Schools. The Lutheran Church has maintained schools at Hebron and 
a number of towns not given above. In 1920 Fremont was successful in securing the 
removal from Atchison, Kan., of the very successful college. Midland College, 
built up by the Lutheran people. For many years the late W. H. Clemmons who 
was state superintendent of public instruction at the time of his death, conducted 
a very successful business and normal college at Fremont. 



By Eugene 0. Mayfield 

Fifty years ago one of my early duties was to roam over the long stretches of 
unbroken prairie of Nebraska, where in the valleys the tall bluestem grew luxuri- 
antly and on the upland shimmered in the sunshine, buffalo grass, as far as the eye 
could see. Planted by the kindly hand of nature, blossomed millions of cacti, wild 
roses and other of the ]?iost beautiful flowers in the world, among which were 
scattered profusely clusters of the shoestring, with its entangled root-creepers, 
buffalo peas and bumble-bee nests with their hoard of honey for the winter days. 
Then as now, I thought it the most beautiful picture possible — but the picture has 
faded, to live only in the memory of the pioneers of the West. 

Gathering into piles, to be hauled to the farm home, "buffalo chips," was my 
mission, as it was that of other pioneer lads, the dried droppings of the bison, 
blistered and cured by the sun, making splendid fuel for winter, and practically 
all of the fuel that the early pioneers could obtain, trees growing only along the 

But fifty odd years have brought great changes. The breaking plow, often 
drawn by slow-moving oxen, has worked a transformation in the West unbelievable 
or undreamed of fifty years ago. Today there is but little prairie land, except 
along the western border, it having dissolved into cultivated farms on which are 
homes that equal, if not surpass, the best in the great union of states, thousands 
being modern throughout. 

Pioneer Hardships. First came the hardships of the pioneers — some of whom 
remained while some went back to the old home in the East after deciding that 
the new West was only a desert. Then brighter days came, but only after a long 
pull against the tide — too, came as time passed, years of hot winds from the 
southwest that scorched to tinder even the wild grass; grasshoppers that ate up 
everything down to the earth; shivering cold winters and mountains of icy sleet 
and snow; storms of wind and rain and hail that laid low the gi-owiug crops of 
sod-corn and small grain. 

But Nebraska's hardy pioneers weathered all of these handicaps. They had 
faith, unbounded, and in the end they won where weaker hearts would have failed 
and now, from north to south, east to west, one may travel to the confines of the 
state and see a vast garden and a happy, prosperous people — cities, towns, hamlets; 
schools, churches and a world of patriotic pride, where fifty years ago were only huts 
and scattered settlements. 

Nebraska is rich in everything one could wish. Its people more fortunate 
than others, have but few calls to assist the indigent. There are ninety-three coun- 
ties in the state, with a total population (as near as can be arrived at without 
the official government census report) of 1,295,502. These figures are based 
on an increase of 10 per cent during the past ten years, the population of 1910 
being 1,192,214. In forty of the counties are no indigent or county poor 
farms. In fifty-three counties there are poor farms and indigent cared for on the 
farms, of which 355 are males and ninety-seven females, making a total of but 
452 persons entirely kept by all tlie counties of a state having a population of 
1,311,435. A remarkable showing, indeed — one that challenges any other state. 


Homes of the Poor. These fifty-three counties having poor farms and indigent 
cared for on them consist of 10,175 acres, cultivated by the counties, or leased for 
agriculture or hayland and grazing. The valuation placed on this land by the 
officials is $2,153,300. 

In addition to those eared for on county poor farms the various counties of 
the state assist in their homes a total of but fifty-three male and female partially 
indigent, they being supplied from special funds available for that purpose. 

Many of the county poor farms have great, roomy homes on them, modernized 
and beautiful lawns, orchards and flowers. 

That each county may have the benefit of its showing, following will be found 
an authentic report which I have just completed, the facts and figures being taken 
from the county records — from records that did not exist except in rare instances, 
during the days when "buffalo chips" wei'e at a premium. 

Remarkable Shotdngs. Holt County has no county poor farm or building. 
When there are indigent that require assistance they are assisted from the general 
fund. O'Xeill is the county seat. 

Hitchcock County has no poor farm or building. There are no indigent in 
that county. The county seat is at Trenton. 

Pawnee County has no poor farm. At present ten persons are being assisted 
from the general fund, four males and six females. The county seat is Pawnee City. 

Gage County has a 160-acre poor farm, where nine males and three females are 
cared for. The farm is valued at $30,000. Beatrice is the county seat. 

Wayne County has no poor farm and only one person assisted in the way of 
paying a part of the house rent. Wayne is the county seat. 

Perkins County has a $12,000 poor farm of 160 acres, but it is not improved. 
There are about a dozen persons taken care of, in part or in full, in the county. 
Grant is the county seat. 

Chase County has no poor farm or home and no indigent requiring assistance. 
Imperial is the county seat. 

Grant County has no poor farm and only one person, male, who is assisted 
from time to time as requirements demand. Hyannis is the county seat. 

Box Butte County, with Alliance the county seat, has a 320-acre poor farm, on 
which is a nine-room brick building. Three males are cared for on the farm, the 
value of which is $18,000. 

Rock Count}' has no poor farm or building. There are only two indigent that 
the county pays $16 per month for their keep in private families. Bassett is the 
county seat. 

Furnas County hasn't any indigent. However, it has a 160-acre poor farm, 
valued at $15,000. The county seat is Beaver City. 

Morrill County has no poor farm and no indigent. Bridgeport is the county 

Gosper County has a 320-acre poor farm, valued at $12,800, but no one to occupy 
it, as there are no indigent in that county. EUwood is the county seat. 

Saunders County, Wahoo county seat, has a 320-acre poor farm, valued at 
$96,000, on which are cared for ten males and two females. 

Polk County, Osceola county seat, has a 200-acre poor farm, where are cared 
for two males and one female. The farm is valued at $45,000. 

Boone County, Albion county seat, has a 160-acre poor farm, valued at $35,000. 

238 inSTOin' OF NEl^EASKA 

The farm is rented out and the four female indigent are cared for. in part, by the 
county supplying them foodstuffs in their own homes. 

Hall County, Grand Island county seat, has six indigent, five male and one 
female, who are cared for in a hospital, and the farm rented out. which consists of 
160 acres, valued at $20,000. 

XuckoUs County, Nelson county seat, has no indigent. It has a IfiO-acre poor 
farm, valued at $16,000. 

Boyd County, Butte county seat, has no indigent and no poor farm. There are 
four women receiving the mothers' pension. 

Out at Broken Bow. Custer County, Broken Bow county seat, has a 100-acre 
poor farm, on which there is a tweiity-two-room house, modern throughout, includ- 
ing barns and other buildings, all lighted with electricity from a plant located on 
the farm. There are five males and two females on the farm. The place is stocked 
with eight head of horses, twenty head of cattle, nine of which are milked, and 
eighty-five hogs. There was planted in crops this season 200 acres of corn, sixty 
acres of wheat, eighty acres of oats and fifteen acres of alfalfa. There are fifteen 
acres of wild hay, the remainder of the farm being pasture. This modern "poor" 
farm is valued at $100,000. It is in charge of a superintendent, nuitron, maid for 
house work and needed farm hands. 

Sioux County, Harrison the county seat, has but one indigent male who is cared 
for by the county. The poor farm consists of but one town lot and building, valued 
at $1,000. 

Thomas County, Hereford the county seat, has no indigent and no poor farm. 

Blaine County, Dunning the county seat, has neither poor farm nor need for 
one. Only one person receives assistance as needed. 

Howard County, St. Paul the county seat, has no indigent. It has a 160-acre 
poor farm, worth $12,000. 

Jefferson County has a 320-acre poor farm, valued at $40,000. It cares for seven 
male inmates. Fairbury is the county seat. 

Cuming County, West Point the county seat, has a 160-acre poor farm, valued at 
$64,000. Three male indigent are eared for. 

Cheyenne County, of which Sidney is the county seat, has no poor farm and no 
need for one. No person there is receiving aid directly or indirectly from the 
county. There is no mothers' pension at present in force. Cheyenne County is said 
to be the first in the world in the production of wheat, and in many other things 
ranks near the top notch. 

Wheeler County has no poor farm and no indigent. Bartlett is the county seat. 

Frontier County has no poor farm. There two indigent, kept by private parties 
and assisted by the county. Stickville is the county seat. 

Richardson County has twelve indigent, ten male and two female. It has a 
county farm of 120 acres, valued at $4,000. Falls City is the county seat. 

Lincoln County has two male indigent and three females. It lias a KiO-acre 
poor farm, valued at $75,000. North Platte is the county seat. 

Buffalo County has four male indigent. It has a 240-acTe poor farm, valued 
at $35,000. Kearney is the county seat. 

Onli/ One in Banner. Banner County has hut one indigent, male, kept at a 
hospital. It has no county farm. Ilarrisburg is the county seat. 


Burt ha? four male indigent and a 20fl-acre county farm, valued at $GO,(IO0. 
Tekamah is the county seat. 

York has five indigent, four males and one female, ft has a IfiO-acrc poor 
farm, valued at $50,000. York is the county seat. 

Cass County has fourteen indigent, twelve males and two females. Tt has a 
120-acre county farm, valued at $G0,000. Plattsniouth is the county seat. The 
home is modern and roomy. 

Greeley County has no county farm and hut one indigent person, who is eared 
for in a hospital. Greeley is the county seat. 

Scotts Bluff County has no poor farm or building. Whenever there is need of 
assistance the county takes care of the cases by pension, or pays for their keep 
in private homes. Scottsbluff is the county seat. 

McPherson County has sis partially indigent, three males and three females. 
This is one family which is only assisted, and is partially self-supporting. It has 
no poor farm. Tryon is the county seat. 

Clay County has one male and one female indigent. It has a 320-acre county 
farm, valued at $40,000. Clay Center is the county seat. 

Adams County has four male and one female indigent. It has a 320-acre poor 
farm, valued at $60,000. Hastings is the county seat. 

Sheridan county has neither county poor farm nor indigent. Rushville is the 
county seat, and Maud E. Gillispie is the county clerk. 

Brown County has no county poor farm or indigent. When occasion demands 
the poor are assisted by the county. Ainsworth is the county seat. 

Loup County, Taylor the county seat, has no poor farm and no use for one, no 
indigent living in that county. 

Hayes County has neither indigent nor county poor farm. Hayes Center is 
the county seat. 

Knox Has None. Knox County has no county poor farm and no indigent. 
Center is the county seat. 

Xemaha County has seven indigent, six males and one female. It has a ll50-acre 
poor farm, valued at $30,000. Auburn is the county seat. 

Sarpy County has two male indigent. It has a 60-acre poor farm, valued at 
$48,000. The indigent now being cared for have only been on the farm one year. 
Prior to that there were none for several years. Papillion is the county seat. 

Pierce County has two indigent, males. It has a 200-acre poor farm, valued at 
$40,000. Pierce is the county seat. 

Stanton County has two male indigent and a 20-acre poor farm, valueil alt 
$12,000. Stanton is the county seat. 

Keya Paha County has no county i>oor farm and but one indigent person, male, 
whom the county assists. He is the first in a number of years. S])ringview is the 
county seat. 

Valley County has no indigent. It has a 125-acre poor farm, valued at $18,000. 
Ord is the county seat. 

Lancaster County has twenty-three indigent, twelve nuiles and eleven females. 
It has a 240-acre poor farm, valued at $7.5,000. On the farm is a large fireproof 
modern building that cost $27,000 four years ago. Lincoln is the county seat. 

Merrick County has three indigent, two males and one female, eared for in a 


hospital. Central City is tlie county seat. It has a county farm of 160 acres, valued 
at $15,000. 

Seward County has four male and one female indigent. It has a 160-acre poor 
farm, valued at $40,000. Seward is the county seat. 

Sherman County has one male indigent and three mothers' pension cases. It 
owns, but rents out, a 320-acre farm, valued at $60,000. Loup City is the county 

Garfield County has no poor farm and no indigent. Burwell is the county seat. 

Dundy in the Clear. Dundy County has neitlier county poor farm nor county 
indigent. Benkelman is the county seat. 

Antelope County has no indigent. It has a 160-acre poor farm, valued at 
$20,000. Xeligh is the county seat. 

Eed Willow County has one male and one female indigent. It has a 40-acre poor 
farm, valued at $15,000. McCook is the county seat. 

Platte County has five male indigent. It has a 240-acre poor farm, valued at 
$85,000. Columbus is the county seat. 

Saline County has two male and three female indigent. It has a 320-acre poor 
farm', valued at $80,000. Wilber is the county seat. 

Kearney County has neither poor farm nor county indigent. Minden is the 
county seat. 

Otoe County has twelve indigent, ten males and two females. It has one of the 
most modern county farms in the state, consisting of 160 acres, valued at $50,000. 
Nebraska City is the county seat. 

Douglas County has 205 indigent, cared for at the county farm, thirty-nine 
females and 166 males. It has a 40-acre poor farm, modern, valued at $120,000. 
Omaha is the county seat. 

Dawson County has one male indigent and a 160-acre poor farm, valued at 
$32,000. Lexington is the county seat. 

Johnson County has two indigent, males, and a 320-acre poor farm, valued at 
$35,000. Tecumseh is the county seat. 

Xance Countj' has no county poor fram and no indigent. Occasionally it is 
necessary to assist the poor, which is done through a county fund. Fullerton is the 
county seat. 

Butler County has three male and one female indigent. It has a 160-aere poor 
farm, valued at $44,000. David City is the county seat. 

Webster County has one male and one female indigent. It has a 320-acre poor 
farm, valued at $30,000. Red Cloud is the county seat. 

Only a Pension Here. Phelps County has no poor farm and no direct indigent 
— only one aged male who draws $12 a month. A few widows draw the mothers' 
pension. Holdrege is the county seat. 

Keith County has one female indigent, who is cared for by the county in a 
private home. It has a five-acre poor farm, valued at $2,500. Ogallala is the county 

Kimljall County has no p(K)r farm or indigent. Kimball is the county seat. 

Garden County has no county poor farm or indigent. Oshkosh is the county seat. 

Deuel County has neither poor farm nor indigent. Chappell is the county seat. 

Thurston County has five indigent that are cared for. It has no county poor 
farm, i'ender is the conntv seat. 


Dodge County has ten indigent, eight males and two females. It has a 24o-acre 
poor farm, valued at $85,000. Fremont is the county seat. 

Fillmore County, Geneva county seat, has eleven indigent, eight males and three 
females. It has a 160-acre poor farm, valued at $30,000. 

Nothing Doing in Harlan. Harlan County has neither poor farm nor indigent. 
Alma is the county seat. 

Colfax County has three male and two female indigent. It has a 160-acre 
county farm, valued at $56,000. Schuyler is the county seat. 

Logan County has no indigent. It has a building used when necessary for the 
indigent, worth about $500. Gandy is the county seat. 

Dakota County has three male indigent and an 80-acre poor farm, valued at 
$20,000. Dakota City is the county seat. 

Cedar County, Harrington county seat, has five male indigent, and a county poor 
farm of 160 acres, valued at $28,000. 

Thayer Count}', Hebron county seat, has no indigent. It lias a 160-acre county 
farm, valued at $12,000. 

Hooker County, Slullen county seat, has no indigent and no poor farm. 

Dawes County, Chadron the county seat, has four male indigent and a 160-acre 
poor farm, valued at $5,000. 

Arthur County has no indigent and no county poor farm. Arthur is the county 

Hamilton County has a 340-acre poor farm, on which there are three male and 
three female indigent. The farm is valued at $50,000. The county seat is Aurora. 

Cherry County has neither county charges nor poor farm. The county seat is 

Franklin County has a 320-acre poor farm. It has no indigent. The farm is 
valued at $64,000. Franklin is the county seat. 

Madison County has two male and three female indigent. It has a 160-acre poor 
farm, valued at $25,000. Madison is the county seat. 

Dixon County has two male indigent at the poor farm, which consists of 160 
acres and is valued at $35,000. Ponca is the county seat. 

Washington County, Blair county seat, has three male indigent on its 160-acre 
poor farm. The farm is valued at $12,800. 

(Eeprinted from Omaha World Herald, October, 1920) 




COUNTIES (taking about first seventy counties in alphabetical order) — Nebraska 


The press is the true exponent of the public pulse, and a true index of the 
character of the people tliat support it, and in view of that fact it is the 
intention of this compiler, while he cannot devote an adequate time and space in 
this work, to give each subject a thorough and elaborate treatment, to dwell at some 
length upon the history and development of the press of Nebraska. 

A vivid portrayal of the rapidity with which the newspaper office followed the 
first settlers into each community, and the difficulties with which it remained, as 
evidence by the frequency with which the "voice of the community" personified in 
its town journal was changed, will probably more than any other thing illustrate 
the evolution of our great commonwealth. 

The details of the struggles of the first few newspapers started in this state have 
been so well presented in the Andreas' History of Nebraska, 1882, that it is only 
giving just credit and tribute to that excellent work to reproduce here the story as 
it was told then, when the compiler of that record could yet get in touch with the 
living pioneers of the Nebraska press. 


The first newspaper published in Bellevue was also the first jiaper in tlie state. 
This early candidate for public favor was the Nebraska Palladium, which, after 
issuing fifteen numbers at St. Mary's on the Iowa shore, opposite Bellevue, crossed 
to the latter place, and then issued No. 16. The full title of the newcomer was 
the Nebraska Palladium and Platte Valley Advocate. It was published by Thomas 
Morton, D. E. Reed & Company, editors and proprietors. The first number con- 
tained two poems, one of which was "The Seer," by Whittier; a Now York letter; 
a chapter on females, and an extract from the "Reveries of a Bachelor." There 
were also articles entitled "Newspapers," "Support Your Local Paper," "The 
Newspaper Press," "Know-Nothing." There was also an article on the "Location 
of the Capital," and a notice of "Bellevue Claim Meeting." On the first column of 
the last page is the following announcement: "This is the first column of reading 
matter set up in the Territory of Nebraska. This was put in type on the 14th of 
November, 1854, by Thomas Morton." There were also several local advertise- 
ments or paid reading notices. Thus we see that: "T. IT. Bennett has opened a 


boarding house at Bellevue for the accommodation of regular boarders and occasional 
visitors, who he will take pleasure in making as comfortable as lies in his power." 
This is followed by an advertisement of "W. R. English, collector, general land 
agent, counselor at law, etc., Bellevue, Xeb. Having an experience of seventeen 
years in the Territory, will pay prompt attention to all communications in regard 
to the Territory, etc. Office near the Government building, and in rear of P. A. 
Sarpy's banking house." This first issue also contained advertisements of C. E. 
Watson, land agent and surveyor, and of Peter A. Sarpy's ferry boat, Nebraska, 
running between St. Mary's and Bellevue, and St. Mary's, Council Bluffs and Glen- 
wood advertisements. 

On the second page in an editorial entitled '"The Newspaper Press in Bellevue," 
occurs the following passage: "The Palladium office was the first newspaper estab- 
lishment put in operation in Nebraska, and the present number, the fii>t cnci- issued 
from the Territory. The first printers in our office and who have set up iIm' im -mt 
number are natives of three different states — Ohio, Virginia and ilasMiihiisctts, 
namely: Thomas Morton, foreman, Columbus, Ohio; A. D. Long, compositor, 
Virginia ; Henry M. Reed, apprentice, Massachusetts. 

"At the very time our foreman had the press ready for operation, the following 
persons were — not by invitation — but providentially present, to witness its first 
operation, namely : 

"His Excellency, T. B. Cuming, governor of Nebraska, and Mrs. T. B. Cuming; 
Hon. Fenner Ferguson, chief justice of Nebraska; Mrs. F. Ferguson; Rev. William 
Hamilton, of the Otoe and Omaha Mission, and Mrs. Hamilton; Maj. James M. 
Gatewood, of Missouri ; Bird B. Chapman, candidate for congress from Nebraska 
Territory: George W. Hollister, Esq., of Bellevue; A. Vandergrift, Esq., of Missouri; 
W. A. Griffin, of Bellevue; Arthur Ferguson, of Bellevue; Theodore S. Gillmore, 
Chicago, 111.; Miss Mary Hamilton and Miss Amanda Hamilton, of Bellevue. The 
first proof sheet was taken by His Excellency, Governor Cuming, whicli was taken 
from the press and read by his Honor, Chief Justice Ferguson. 

"Thus quietly and unceremoniously was the birth time of printing in Bellevue, 
Neb., celebrated. Thus was the Nebraska Palladium inaugurated into the public 
service. This event, although to some it may seem unimportant now, will form an 
epoch in history which will be remembered ages after those present on this interesting 
occasion are no more. 

"The Palladium is issued from Bellevue, a beautiful spot amid the far off wilds 
of Nebraska, issued in the very wake of heathen darlmess, and we might almost 
say in its midst. We have taken joint possession with the aboriginal occupants of 
the soil. Our office is frequently visited by the dark children of the forest and 
prairie, whose curiosity prompts them to witness the operation of the — to them — • 
incomprehensible art by which thought is symbolized and repeated in ever-during 
forms on the printed page. As the Indian disappears before the light of civilization, 
so may the darkness and error of the human mind flee before the light of the press 
of Nebraska." 

On April 11, IS.-).-), the Pallndiinn disrontiiiuod jiiiblicntion and issued the fol- 
lowing pungent manifesto of the cause of sm-h ac-tiou: '"To subscribers and friends: 
We have against our own desires and that of many ardent friends made up our mind 
to suspend the issue of the Palladium until a sufficient amount of town pride springs 
up ill Bellevue to ]i;iy the expense of its ])ul)lication." 



The Bellevue Gazette, a six-column folio was started in 1856 by Silas A. Strick- 
land & Co., the company including David Leach and others. This ambitious sheet 
seemed, like its jovial and well known editor, to desire to please everybody. In its 
first number it unburdens itself of its intentions in a salutatory, promising the 
publication of all the newest inventions for the benefit of the mechanic ; of the latest 
news from St. Louis papers, and of letters from the farmers. In the same issue are 
set forth the excellencies of the Bellevue House, and the readiness of various indi- 
viduals to barter goods for cash or land for either. There is also a brotherly pat 
on the back for the Nebraska Democrat, then a novelty in Omaha journalism, pub- 
lished by H. T. Johnson. The Gazette was short lived. 


The Platte Valley Times was started on July 31, 1862, by H. T. Clarke & Co. 
The Times was a five-column folio, and contained besides full accounts of the war, 
then raging, notices of favorite packets bound up or down the river, and also a poem 
by "Professor" Longfellow. This was the last attempt to establish a local paper in 
the town, and the new comer shared very shortly the fate of its older brethren. 

The second newspaper to start in Nebraska was at Omaha. 

The first paper established in Omalia was the Arrow, printed at Council Bluffs, 
followed by the Nebraskian, the Times, the Telegraph, the Independent, Republican, 
Statesman, Herald, Tribune, Bee, News and Telegram. The growth of the press in 
Omaha is a symbol and measure of the growtli of the state. When the first number 
of the Arrow was issued there was but a limited number within the present limits of 
Nebraska, and those were largely composed of Indians, traders, etc. There was no 
telegraph in those days in this region and no railroad, and if the members of the 
Fourth Estate then prominent, now dead, could rise from their graves they would 
be astonished at the changes which have been accomplished in the system of artificial 
communication by rail and telegraph, considered merely as an apparatus for the 
collection and distribiition of news. 


The first paper published at Omaha was the Arrow, a folio of twenty-four 
columns and bearing date "Friday, November 28, 1854," with J. E. Johnson and 
John W. Pattison, as editors and proprietors. It was a weekly and furnished to 
subscribers at the rate of two dollars per annum, invariably in advance, and aimed 
to supply "a family paper devoted to the arts and sciences, general literature, agri- 
culture and politics, to the people — sovereigns of the soil." 

The prominent feature of the first issue was the Kansas and Nebraska bill, as it 
passed both houses of Congress, supplemented by editorial notices, an account of an 
excursion to Bellevue, town sites in Nebraska, plan of Omaha City and the usual 
complement of editorial and local paragraphs. The advertisements included notifi- 
cations that "A. W. Babbitt, Street & Turley, James D. Test, Johnson & Casady, 
C. E. Stone, A. C. Ford, A. V. Larimer. AV. C. James, and L. M. Kline, were 
practitioners domiciliated in Council Bluffs: J. W. Pattison was similarly estab- 


lished in Omaha, and others at different points throughout the West. "The Council 
Blufl's and Nebraska ferry was ready with their new steam ferry boat Marion, to 
commence crossing at the opening of spring"; proceedings of a claim meeting, 
and a large amount of advertising, principally confined to pations residing in 
Council BlufEs. For a time, or until presses and fixtures arrived, the Arrow was 
printed at the office of the Bugle in Council BlufEs, and the announcement was made 
that any "person who within one year from date should send the largest list of 
subscribers to the Arrow would be entitled to a full Omaha Indian co.-;tume to be 
subject, upon decision, to their order." 

The paper presented a neat uj.ipearance and for its first issue, considering the 
obstacles in the way of publishing a journal at all to be compared to those of the 
present day, dearth of news, etc., was a most creditable production that improved 
with each succeeding issue. Among the items of interest that appeared subsequently, 
were the following notices: 

There will be preaching at the residence of Mr. Snowdon, in Omaha City, on 
Sunday the 13th of August, 1854, by the Rev. Peter Cooper of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church. 

A. D. Jones, Esq., has obtained his surveying instruments and now stands 
ready to do any job in his line when called upon. Persons desirous of purchasing 
town lots can be accommodated by calling on Dr. J. Lowe or J. A. Jackson. M. 
W. Robinson has put on a regular line of stages between this place and Council 
Bluffs; persons visiting this place from Council Bluffs and desirous of returning 
must be at the ferry landing upon sun down. Persons may receive Omaha City mail 
matter from the postmaster, A. D. Jones, at Mr. Clancy's provision establishment 
every Tuesday, Thursday and Sumlay rvniinLjs. etc. 

On October 13, 1854, the deaiii <•( W illiinn R. Rogers, aged fifty-four years, is 
announced, and in the issue of the lullu\Mng week that of Francis Burt, governor 
of the Territory, followed by the proceedings of a meeting convened to take proper 
action in this connection at which D. Lindley presided, M. Murphy appointed as 
secretary and J. W. Pattison, C. B. Smith, A. D. Jones, W. Clancy and C. H. 
Downs were appointed a committee on resolutions. 

On November 3, 1854, pleasure was expressed at seeing the sign of Dr. (i. L. 
Miller, the present distingui.?hed editor of the Herald, hanging out of Mr. E. Bud- 
dell's residence. The city was congratulated upon the acquisition. 

The paper continued for some months but failure to obtain presses, office equip- 
ments, etc., prevented its removal to Omaha as was anticipated, and culminated in its 
suspension before the expiration of the year during which it was born. 


In 1854, Bird B. Chapman, of Elyria, Ohio, established the Nebraskian at 
Omaha, in a frame building on Farnam Street, near Fourteenth. Having put his 
house in order, with a view to future rewards, he began the weekly "grind" as editor. 
As days came and went, his prospects, from a political standpoint, grew brighter, 
until the dawn of a perfect day, upon which he was elected as a delegate to Congress 
from the infant Territory. John Sherman, the editor, was left in charge of the 
paper, while Mr. Chapman went to the front, and in 1857, Theodore IT. Robertson 


assumed the ownership. Two years later, M. H. Clark succeeded to the title, and 
secured the services of Milton W. Reynolds as editor. 

During this administration, a daily paper was established, and was run through 
about three volufaes, but the absence of data prevents the presentation of a more 
extended notice of the same. 

In all respects, the Nebraskian is represented to have been a credit to its 
founders, its publishers, its patrons and Omaha, t'ity. It laljored for the interest? 
of its constituency, and those of the Territory, and did much toward the develop- 
ment of the business interests of the city, Ihe county and the present state. In 
politics, it was democratic, insisting that the doctrine of that party was not heresy, 
and that the glories gathered into the national garner for fifty years, were substantial 
and lasting festimonials of the vitality and correctness of the principles originally 
propounded by Thomas Jefferson. 

On December 18, 1863, Clark & Reynolds sold out to Alfred 11. Jackson, until 
June 15, 1865, when the Nebraskian, aged, but aspiring and determined, yielded 
precedence to the Herald, which has .since grown to be a power among the demo- 
cratic organs of the country, and a journal that is by no means the least convincing 
proof to prosperous Omaha, and the Northwest, of tlie dependence ujion tlie Fourth 
Estate, that cities and countries in their success rely. 

The occasion is here availed of to deny, on the authority of Doctor Miller, that 
the Nebraskian was "merged into the Herald, or that the Herald was recreated out 
of the ruins of the Nebraskian." All such rumors are figments of imagination unde- 
serving of consideration. 

While the Palladium and Arrow and Nebraskian were short lived, another news- 
paper w^as moved into Nebraska from Sidney, Iowa, in 1854, destined later to 
become the Nebraska News. 


The printing material with which the Nebraska City News was published, was 
purchased in Sidnev', Iowa, by S. F. Nuckolls, H. F. Downs and A. A. Bradford, 
owners of the town site, the press work of the first number being done in that 
place, November 14, 1854, with Dr. Henry Bradford as editor. The office was 
immediately removed to Nebraska City and placed in the old block house, where it 
remained for some years. In 1855 Thomas Morton purchased the outfit from the 
town company, J. Sterling Morton being at that time editor, receiving for his 
services fifty dollars a month. Subsequent editorial changes have been as follows: 
R. Lee Barrowman, April 13, 1856, to April 15, 1856; J. Sterling Morton, April 
15, 1856, to August 26, 1857; M. W. Reynolds, August 26, 1857, to October 19, 
1861; Augustus F. Harvey, October 19, 1861, to August 25, 1865; J. Sterling 
Morton, August 25, 1865, to August 20, 1877; J. Stilson Potter, August 20, 1877, to 
November 1, 1879; E. D. Marnell, November 1, 1879, to date. The proprietorship 
has been wholly or in part vested in Thomas Morton ever since his first purchase 
of the paper. The editorial management has been remarkably able and the paper 
is now a daily and weekly sheet, democratic' in politics from the first. During 
the Kansas war of 1857, its utterances were decisive, so far so that its office was 
threatened with destruction and its editor with lynehing liy Lane and his lawless 


This iSTebraska Xews remained the leading journal of the state until outstripped 
by the Eepublican and Herald of Omaha. After its change to the name of 
Nebraska City News in 1858, it continued to serve its public, and it has had an 
existence of over sixty-five years, the longest record in the state for continuous 
service, were it not broken by one slight interruption. 

The next newspaper to start was the 


In the autumn of 18-55, Dr. John ilcPherson came to Brownville, and, pleased 
with the town and its prospects, determined to remove his printing material from 
Tippecanoe, Ohio, for the purpose of engaging in the newspaper business. He 
traded one-half his establishment to R. Brown for Brownville town lots, stipulating 
to publish a weekly newspaper one year. On the S)th of April, 1856, Robert W. 
Furnas, who was to have editorial charge of the office, John L. Colhapp and Chester 
S. Langdon, printers, arrived with the material, and on the seventh day of June, 
1856, appeared the first number of the Nebraska Advertiser. From that time to 
the present the pajier lias been regularly issued. One of the earliest contributors to 
the columns of the AilMTti-iM- was Dr. A. S. Holladay, who occasionally occupied 
the editorial chair during the absence of Mr. Furnas. Soon after the publication 
of the first number of the Advertiser, Doctor McPherson donated liis one-half 
interest in the office to R. W. Furnas, on condition that it should be published as an 
independent or neutral journal. The restriction was rigidly observed. At that 
time the territory was stronsrly ilenidCiMtir, The office was opened in Lake's Block, 
on Second, between Main and College streets; was afterward removed to McPher- 
son's Block, on the south side of Main between Second and Third streets; at a still 
later day, to the north side of Main, between First and Second streets. 

October 2, 1857, Chester S. Langdon was admitted as a publisher, making the 
firm Furnas & Langdon. On the 15th of May, 1858, R. W. Furnas assumed control 
again, and continued in entire charge until November 24, 1859, when L. E. Lyanna 
became a partner. On the 28th of November, 1861, the Union office was consolidated 
with the Advertiser, and T. E. Fisher was taken in as a partner. May 8, 1862, 
Furnas & Fisher were proprietors, with Fisher & Hacker as publishers. [R. W. 
Furnas had enlisted and gone to the war, as colonel of a Nebraska Regiment.] 
December 6, 1862, T. C. Hacker withdrew from the office as one of the publishers. 
July 16, 1863, the names of proprietors of the paper were dropped, only the name of 
T. R. Fisher appearing as the publisher. In the autumn of 1863, Fisher & Colhapp 
(the last named came with office to Brownville in 1856), became publishers. 
September 14, 1864, W. H. Miller became the publisher, and was succeeded Decem- 
ber 22, 1864, by George W. Hill and J. H. Colhapp.. July 18, 1867, R. T. Muir 
entered the firm. November 17th of the same year, Jarvis S. Church bought the 
interest of Hill & Muir, and the firm name became Church & Colhapp. January 
23, 1868, T. C. Hacker entered the firm as junior partner and business manager. 
January 6, 1870, the original publisher, R. W. Furnas, bought out Church, and 
the firm name became Furnas, Colhapp & Hacker. January 5, 1871, Church & 
Hacker became the publishers, and July of the same year. Major CafFrey purchased 
Church's interest, and the firm name became CafFrey & Hacker. This firm remained 
unchanged until January 22, 1874, when G. W. Fnirhrother bought out Major 


Caffrey, and the firm of Fairbrother & Hacker continued until December, 1881, when 
G. W. Fairbrother became sole proprietor. In March, 1882, tlie material was 
removed to Calvert, where under the same name, the Advertiser continues to be 
published. It is now published by G. W. Fairbrother & Co. The Advertiser is 
republican in politics, and has been so since 1860. 

For a few weeks in 1857, a small daily sheet named the Snort, was issued from 
the Advertiser office, under the editorial supervision of Langdon & Goff. "Old rye" 
was a legal tender in pa3'ment of subscriptions. A score of issues was enough to send 
the little paper to "the tomb of the Capulets." 

In September, 1860, a four-column daily paper, entitled the Bulletin, was 
issued from the Advertiser office, but proving unremunerative, was suspended in 
August, 1861. 

In 1870, a campaign Daily Advertiser was published for a few months. 

The- first agricultural journal in the state wa^ established in Brownville, in 
January, 1859, by R. W. Furnas, and its publication continued three years. 


was established in Omaha, June 11, 1857, by W. W. Wyman, and courted popular 
favor with the assurance that it was 

Pledged but to truth, to liberty and law, 
Xo favor sways us, and no fear shall awe. 

It was an eight-column folio, and aimed to furnish to readers a weekly resume of 
news, foreign and domestic. Its office was over the postoffice, where it was issued 
every Thursday, and presumably met public expectations. In politics, it was demo- 
cratic, but in this particular, as in all others, that would remotely contribute to 
the development of Xebraska, and the prosperity of the territory, the editors left 
nothing to be desired. Information was at all times furnished by them to inquirers, 
and a portion of each issue was devoted to answers to those seeking information 
relative to lands, markets and other features of frontier life, with which residents 
at a distance are entirely unfamiliar. 

On September 9, 1858, John W. Pattison was admitted as a partner in the 
concern, and undertook the general conduct of the paper. He was a graphic and 
forcible writer, long and favorably known throughout the territory, of which he was 
an old settler, and his co-operation was an invaluable aid to the benefit and pros- 
perity of the Times. He remained, however, but two months, circumstances prevail- 
ing to prevent that devotion of time and attention to the paper which was demanded, 
he severed his connection therewith. The Times, however, survived. Its editorials 
indicated marked ability, and were couched in candid, courteous language. In 
addition, the pages contained a choice selection of miscellaneous matter, full and 
accurate market reports, and a carefully prepared summaiy of congressional, local 
and foreign intelligence. In 1859, the Times was merged into the Xebraskian, and 
on February 26, 1864, with the type and press formerly employed in the composition 
and publication of the Times, was the obituary of Mr. Wyman promulgated in the 

So truly is the story of tlie press tliat of civilization. Its liistory is that of 


the locality in which it is situated. It has made and unmade parties, established 
and destroyed reputations. It has served as the antiquarian, the historian and the 
prophet. Day by day it has rei-i.inled the history of the state, or allowed, by 
omission, valuable records to pcri-h. While space will not permit us to take each 
and every newspaper that lias graced the history of Nebraska journalism and trace 
its rise and fall, its beginning and end, we can at least most certainly afford to stop 
and review the be.o-innings of the press in about seventy of the first settled counties 
of the state, ami tlieii lake a ivti. .s|ieetive view from 1920 of the papers existing 
after the Nilna-ka \<rr~~ 1m- IkmI i In'ce-quarters of a century life, and note the 
years of tlieii' I'^talilislumiit. ami Ur able to compare the advance by a study of the 
beginning of this profession — the history of histories — and its present stage of 

Adams County. The first paper in this county was the Adams County Gazette, 
started January, 1872, by C. C. and R. D. Babcock. In 1880 it was removed to 
Hastings and became part of the Gazette-Journal, which had been started there in 
1873 by the Wigtons. The Juniata Herald was started in 1876 by A. H. Brown, 
and has been that town's paper these many years. The Hastings Central Nebraskan 
started in 1876, and the Adams County Democrat in 1880. Kenesaw had a paper 
in 1876, The Times, which later became part of the Central Nebraskan, at Hastings. 

Antelope County. The Oakdale Journal, established in 1874, became the 
Neligh Journal in October, 187-5. The Neligh Independent was the second paper 
there in 1878. 

Boone County. The first paper published in Boone County was the Boone 
County News, in 1874, lasting about six months. The Boone County Argus, started 
in 1876, "for Boone County first — the world afterward," with W. A. Hutton as 
editor and publisher. A. W. Ladd started in 1879 the Boone County News, in no 
way related to its predecessor. 

Burt County. Tekamah's first newspaper was the Burt County Pilot, in 1871, 
later moved to Blair in 1874. The next, in 1872, was the Burtonian. Oakland 
Independent was established in 1880, the Decjitur Herald in 1881. 

Buffalo County. This county can claim the Huntsman's Echo, in 1860, founded 
by Joseph E. Johnson at Wood River Center. The Central N'ebraska Press, at 
Kearney, was founded in 1873. The Kearney Times was started in 1873, and its 
outgrowth, the Buffalo County Journal, started in 1880. The Kearney Weekly 
Nonpareil started in 1878. These have all been superseded by later papers. Kearney, 
in 1882, had the National Soldier, a paper established for veterans of the Civil war. 

Butler County. The first papers at David City were the Butler County Press, 
started in September, 1873, by W. G. Rutherford and Charles D. Casper, and the 
David City Republican, issued first by Calmer D. McCune, February 6, 1877. 
Ulysses' first paper, the Dispatch, started May 6, 1880. Rising City Independent 
started September 17, 1880, by D. 0. and C. E. Verity. 

Cass County. This county, one of the first in the state settled, presents some 
of the pioneer journals of the state to this roster of early newspapers. Tlie Platts- 
mouth Jeffersonian, the first paper in Plattsmouth, started early in 1857, with 
L. D. Jefferis, assisted by J. D. Ingalls. The Platte Valley Times, of Pacific 
Junction, Iowa, was removed in 1858 to Plattsmouth and came out as the Platte 
Valley Herald. In 1859 the Cass County Sentinel came forth, published first at 
Rock Bluffs, and later taken by E. Giles, its editor, to Plattsmouth. The Nebraska 


Herald was started in February, 1865. Another Cass County Sentinel started in 
1870. A German weekly, the Deutsche Wacht, started in 1875; in 1877, a news- 
paper outfit was moved from Sarpy Center to Plattsmouth, and lae Cass County 
Chronicle started in 1878. H. M. Bushnell in recent years until his death within the 
past year, published the Lincoln Trade Keview, started in with this paper, and in 
1879 started the daily Enterprise at Plattsmouth. The Plattsmouth Journal, as 
a daily, began in 1881. The extended account of the press of this county serves to 
illustrate the manner in which many papers have come and gone in the older coun- 

Cedar County. St. Helena had a paper, the Cedar County Advocate, in 1874, 
which later moved to Vermilion, Dakota. The Cedar County Bulletin started in 
1875, and changed to the Ced>ar County Xonpareil. 

Cheyenne County. The first paper in this county was the Sidney Telegraph, the 
first number of which was issued in May, 1873, by L. Cornell, it being a four-column 
folio sheet, and being practically the pioneer of the western end of the state. 

Clay County. The first paper in Sutton was the Times, June 20, 1873. This 
paper was started by Wellman & Brackman, later owned by Wellman Bros., and 
then Frank E. Wellman, brother of the Walter Wellman, of Chicago Record-Herald 
fame of fifteen years or so ago, on the polar expedition. The Clay County Herald, 
starting June 21, 1873, and Clay County Globe, 1875, were other early ventures at 
Sutton and the Sutton Eegister started in 1880. Edgar had a paper in 1875 for a 
short time, and the Leader started there in 1877. The Fairfield News started 
in 1877. Harvard started a series of unsuccessful attempts, with the Leader, in 
1873, running later to attempts to start the Advocate, the Sentinel and the Journal. 
Clay Center made a journalistic attempt in 1881, with the Citizen. 

Colfav County. The first paper in Sclniyler appeared as the Eegister, on 
September 30, 1871, but soon came out as the Schuyler Sun, which has continued 
to "shine" for a long time. The next attempt was the Schuyler Democrat, in 
1878, which later became the Herald, when James A. Grimison took it over. 

Cuming County. The West Point Republican was established November 18, 
1870; the Progress in August, 1876, and at Nebraska City, the Nebraska A'olks- 
blatt and Staats Zeitung, started February 16, 1868, was removed to West Point 
during the '70s. AYisner had a paper, the Times, for about six months in 

Dahota County. The North Nebraska Eagle started at Dakota City in 1S76, 
and the North Nebraska Argus, in 1880. 

Dawson County. The oldest newspaper of this county was the Dawson County 
Pioneer, founded November 29, 1873, with Daniel Freeman publisher and T. W. 
Smith editor. Hon. T. L. Warrington and W. J. Laimna started the Dawson 
County Press, at Plum Creek, now Lexington, also in 1881. 

Dixon County. The North Nebraska .Journal was started at Ponca in January. 
1873. The next paper, the Dixon County Courier, started there in August, 1877. 

Dodge County. The first paper in this county was the Fremont Tribune, 
which made its bow to the public July 24, 1868, founded by J. Newt Hays. The 
Tribune has become one of the best known papers in Nebraska, with Ross L. 
Hammond for many years its editor, one of the big figures of Nebraska journalism 
as well as republican politics. 

The Fremont Herald, started in 1870, some five years later passed into the hands 


of N. W. Samils and became another well-known Xebraska journal. Xorth 
Bend's first paper was the Independent, started in 18?T)_, bnt it became the Bulletin 
three years later. 

Douglas County. The first papers in Omaha, the Arrow in 1854, the jSTebraskan, 
1854, and the Times, have been already mentioned earlier in this chapter. The 
history of the press in Omaha presents a splendid picture of the rise and fall of 
Journals, the consolidation of others, and the survival of a very few. The Telegraph 
appeared as the first daily paper of Omaha on December 11, 1860. H. Z. Curtis, 
its owner, ran it until late in 1861 when he closed it and sold the subscription^ 
books to M. H. Clark, of the Nebraskan. T. H. Tibbies tried the Independent in 
1877 as an organ of the Independent party, but it lasted only about a year. The 
Xebraska Statesman of 1864 was another short-lived member of the fraternity. 

To no journal, and to the single efforts of no man, is the city of Omaha, the 
county of Douglas, or the State of Nebraska so indebted for the development of 
internal resources and to the multitude of blessings that a progressive, unselfish 
newspaper can bestow upon a community as to Dr. George L. Miller, who founded 
and built up the Omaha Herald. This paper entered its existence as a daily 
on October 2, 1865. All of the prior attempts to establish papers in Omaha, except 
the Eepublican, had failed. It came out at the start unqualifiedly as a democratic 
organ. The firm of Miller & Carpenter dissolved in August, 1868, and Lyman 
Eichardson and John S. Briggs took over this journal. This regime lasted but a 
short time, but Dr. Miller remained as editor, and in February. 1869. took back 
the controlling interest. The firm of Miller & Eichardson rdiii iinKMl imiil March, 
1888. Frank Morrissey, one of the associate editors, became (diini uinlir the next 
ownership, that of John A. McShane. After one year E. A. Craig became owner, 
and Edward L. Merritt was editor. In March, 1889, Gilbert M. Hitchcock, who 
when associated with Frank J.. Burkley, Alfred Miller, William F. Gurley and 
W. V. Eooker had started the Evening World, in August, 1885, took over the 
Herald. The union of the Herald with the Evening World brought forth the 
familiar title, World-Herald. This jiaju'v liis Ihmii (•(iniliicud Inr more than thirty 
years under the ownership of Gilliiit M. 11,,,, k. with n luilliiiiit line of editors, 
including William Jennings Bryan, liirlmnl J.. ilLtrailV' and Harvey E. Xew- 
branch, its present editor, who if he has any peers, at least has no superiors in 
American Journalism as an editorial writer. 

The Omaha Tribune started in 1871, but it later consolidated with the Eepub- 

On Monday, June 19, 1871, H. Geralde issued the first number of another 
Omaha newspaper, destined to be a great factor in the history of Xebraska, the 
Omaha Bee. The gradual growth of this journal furnishes one of the interesting 
chapters of Xebraska journalism. When it was a few weeks old, Mr. Edward Eose- 
water appeared as publisher and proprietor, although Mr. Geralde remained as 
editor. A lithographing department was added to the Bee as early as 1878, 
The controlling interest in this wonderfully successful paper remained in the 
hands of Mr. Edward Eosewater and his family until his death, and thereafter his 
son, Victor Eosewater, maintained charge of the paper, until in 1930 it was sold 
to Xelson B. Updike of Omaha. It has always been a stalwart and even "standpat'.' 
republican journal. 


In the evening field the Omaha Evening News ventured forth in 1878, backed 
by Fred Nye of the Fremont Tribune, but it lasted only a couple of years, though 
in after years it has had an illustrious successor and namesake, the Daily News, 
a Scripps system or Clover-Leaf system paper, with Joseph Polcar as editor. 

The foregoing roster does not in any respect begin to include all of the multitude 
of newspapers and periodicals that have graced the journalistic field in Douglas 

Fillmore Cuunty. In Fairmont the early papers were the Fillmore Bulletin, 
started May 1, 1872, and the Nebraska Signal, October, 1881. The first paper in 
Geneva was the Eeview, in April, 1876. The Grafton Gazette was started in 
1881, the Exeter Enterprise in October, 187S. 

Franklin Countij. The pioneer paper of this county was the Bloomington 
Guard, established in 1872 by J. D. Calhoun, later associate editor of the State 
Journal at Lincoln. Franklin's first paper was the Republican Valley Echo, started 
by James F. Zediker in September, 1881. Naponee's first paper was the Banner. 

Furnas County. The early papers of this coimty were the Beaver City Times; 
O.xford and Cambridge first established papers in 1881, but Arapahoe had the 
Pioneer in July, 1879, and the Mirror was started there in 1882. 

Gage County. The Blue Valley Record was started at Beatrice in 1867 ; after ■ 
changing to the Clarion in 1870, it became the Express, and under 
that title has continued for over forty years. The Gage County Democrat started 
in December, 1879, with George P. Marvin as editor, and the service of the Marvin 
faiT^ily to Nebraska journalism is one of the longest. Another paper, started in 
1873, bore the titles of Sentinel, Republican, Courier, and in 1881 became the 
Gage County Independent. The Weekly Mirror started at Blue Springs in 1876; 
in Wymore the Wymorean and the Reporter were the early papers. 

G-reeley County. The first newspaper in this county was the Greeley County 
Tribune, started at Scotia in October, 1877. 

Hall County. The first newspaper in Hall County was probably the Huntsman's 
Echo, in 1860, published by Joseph Johnson, the Mormon editor, at the WooJ 
River Center settlement at the western edge of the coimty. The first Hall County 
paper was the Platte Valley Independent, removed in 1870, from- North Platte, 
where Mr. and Mrs. Seth P. Mobley had started it the year before. This paper 
became the Grand Island Independent and has passed its fiftieth year of continuous 
existence. The Grand Island Times, established in 1873, flourished as a daily for 
a time, a semiweekly and weekly at other periods. The Herold was started in 1880. 
Doniphan had a paper, the Index, started in 1879. The Wood River Gazette started 
in 1881. 

Tlamilton County. In 1873 J. M. Sechler began publishing the Hamiltonian 
at Orville. It moved in a few months to Sutton. The second paper startbd 
in the county was the Aurora Republican, owned by F. M. Ellsworth and Thomas 
Darnall, and edited by a Mr. Fox. The Hamilton County News also started at 
Orville in 1873, later being moved to Aurora. 

Harlan County. The Standard was founded at .\lma in 1879 and became 
the Herald; and the Harlan County News started first in Republican City in 
1875, and was removed to Alma in 1881. The Weekly Enterprise started at 
Republican City in 1880, and the Sentinel at Orleans was started in 1873, being 
later taken to Melrose, and then back to Orleans. 


Hitchcoch County. The first paper in tliis far western county was the Cul- 
hertson Globe, started in 1879 by W. Z. Taylor, with Xat L. Baker as editor. 
John P. Isreal of Ottumwa, Iowa, came out in April, 1881, and took up the 
publication of the Sun at this point. 

Howard Couniij. The Phonograph was established at St. Paul in 1878. In 
1881 the Democrat and Advocate started there, and consolidated later into the 
St. Paul Free Press. 

Holt Countij. The Holt County Record was started in June, 1879, the first 
thirty numbers being printed at Niobrara, Knox County, and then it was removed 
to (J'Ncill. The Frontier was started on October 1, 1880, by W. D. Matthews. 
These papers were truly the "frontier" of Nebraska journals for some years to come. 

Jefferson County. The oldest paper in this county was the Fairbury Gazette, 
established September 3, 1870, by George Cross; the Southern Nebraska Advance 
started in August, 1879, at Carleton, Tliayer County; removed to Steele City in 
1880 and to Fairbuiy in 1881. Fairbury presents a typical instance of the 
manner in which early newspaper ventures started up and often time flourished 
but a short time, as evidenced by the rise and fall of the Times, Independent, ' 
Clipper, Telegraph, New West Index and Field Notes, all within a few years' time. 

Johnson County. The Tecumseh Journal was first published in Brownville in 
1867, and sent over to Johnson County for distribution. This plan failed to work 
acceptably, and in 1868 the Tecumseh Gazette was established by Messrs. Presson 
& Andrews. G. W. and F. M. Fairbrother in 1869 started the Tecumseh Chieftain, 
which became the oldest permanent newspaper of the county. Other early papers 
at Tecumseh were the Herald, 1872; Journal, 1879, and Torchlight, 1880, started 
by the Fairbrothers after they sold the Chieftain. C. W. Pool, who in recent 
years served as secretary of state, while editor of the Johnson County Journal also 
published the Sterling News, which had been established there in 1877, and this 
town's next venture was the Press in 1881. 

Kearney County. Minden's early paper was the Bee, which consolidated with 
the Newark Herald in April, 1882, to form the Kearney County Gazette. 

Knox County. The Niobrara Pioneer was started in September, 1874, by Edwin 
A. Fry. Its first rival was the Knox County News, in May, 1879. Editor Fry 
started the Creighton Regulator April 26, 1882. The Knox County Times was 
started at Bazile Mills in May, 1881, by C. A. Hammond. 

Lancaster County. Lincoln was proclaimed the capital of Nebraska, August 
14, 1867, and the next day the Nebraska City Press contained the prospectus of a 
weekly paper to be started at Lincoln. The new candidate for journalistic honors 
was known as the Nebraska Commonwealth, and its founder Wias C. H. Gere. 
Its first number, issued on September 2d, was printed at the Press office, in 
Nebraska City, but its second number was printed at Lincoln. In the spring of 1869 
its name was changed to the Nebraska State Journal. During the campaign of 
1869-70 a daily campaign sheet was worked ofF, and in July, 1870, it became a 
daily paper. No paper in Nebraska, except it might be the Omaha Bee and 
World-Herald, has exercised a greater influence upon the history of the state than 
has the Journal. General Victor Yifquain and associates started the State Demo- 
crat, in June, 1879. In February, 1882, Albert Watkins purchased General A^if- 
quain's interest and assumed editorial management. A German paper, the Staats 
Anzeiger, started in 1881. Erasmus M. Correll, one of the leaders of early Nebraska 


journalism, started the Western AVomans Journal in 1881, and Lincoln had a farm 
paper, the Nebraska Farmer, started in November, 1877. 

Lincoln County. The first newspaper venture in this region was the Platte 
Valley Independent, in 1869, by Mrs. Maggie Eberhart, assisted by S. P. Mobley, 
whom she later married. They went to Grand Island a year later and sold the 
new venture to Col. J. B. Park and Guy C. Barton, who continued the publication 
as the Lincoln County Advocate. The North Platte Democrat, started in 1871, 
and the Enterprise, consolidated as the Advertiser, and this paper became the 
Eepubliean. Judge A. H. Church established the AYestern Nebraskian after he 
sold the Republican. The Telegraph was started April 14, 1881, by James 

Madison County. The Norfolk Journal was started September 1.5, 1881, by 
Norton & Spreeher. The Times was started September 1, 1880, but lasted only 
fourteen months and its material went into the new Journal oflBce. Madison 
had the first paper in the county, the Madison Review, established in 1874, but 
it discontinued in 1878, and in 1879 the Chronicle was started. 

Merrick County. The pioneer paper of this county was the ^Merrick County 
News, which made its first appearance March 21, 1872, at Lone Tree, the county 
seat. The next paper was the Lone Tree Sentinel, with W. H. Webster and 
George A. Percival as editors. It lasted only imtil its mission in advocacy of the 
Midland Pacific bonds was accomplished. Mr. Percival and L. Waters, in April, 
1874, started the Lone Tree Courier, which absorbed the Merrick County News. 
The Clarksville Messenger started in May, 1878, and the Merrick County Item, 
January 14, 1880. The Central City Nonpareil was started on January 1, 1882, and 
this proved to be a permanent venture to date, almost forty years later. 

Nance County. The Nance County Journal was the first paper in this part 
of the country. It^ first number was issued in October, 1879, by A. E. Verity. 
Its name was changed in September, 1881, to the Lariat, but soon returned to the 
old name. The Nance County Republican was started by J. N. Reynold-s, in 
October, 1881. Richard Nunnely, commonly known as "Antelope Dick," in July, 
1879, started the Genoa Magnet, which became the Leader, in Februarj^, 1880. 

Xeiuaha County. The foundation of the Nebraska Advertiser has already been 
mentioned in the early part of this chapter. For a few- weeks in 1857 a sheet 
called the Snort was issued from the Advertiser office. The Nemaha Valley 
Journal was removed from Nemaha City to Brownville, but moved back again 
in a short time. The Aspinwall Journal came to Brownville in 1861 and was con- 
tinued but a few months longer. The second Nemaha Valley Journal, started in 
1867, was later taken to Falls City, Richardson County. The first paper in 
North Auburn was the Sheridan Post, established in 1879 by F. B. Tiffany. 

Xuckolls County. The Elktonian, started in 1872, was the first paper in this 
county — printed in Lincoln and issued in Elkton, an aspirant for the county seat. 
The Southwestern Chronicle and Inter-Ocean w"ere established at Nelson in 1875, 
but soon removed to Fairfield and became the News there. The Nuckolls County 
Herald was established in 1877. Hardy had a weekly paper, the Herald, in June, 
1882, and the Clipper, a semi-monthly real estate publication, familiar in, those days. 

Otoe County. The Nebraska City News has been heretofore mentioned. The 
People's Press started in the spring of 1858. It became the Press and Herald 
and later the Nebraska Press. In 1872 it became the Press and Chionido, and 


finally droisped the latter name and became known as the Press. The Nebraska 
Deiitsch Zeitung, later known as the Staats-Zeitung, started m 1861. Siiort-lived 
journalistic attempts were the Star of the West, at Otoe City, and the Phiinny 
Phellow and the Daily and Weekly Chronicle as started in August, 1868. The 
Nebraska City Daily Sun was started April 29, 1879. 

Pawnee County. The first paper in the county was the Pawnee Tribune, started 
in August, 1868. Its successor was the Republican, the name it assumed in 1872. 
The Enterprise was started at Table Rock in August, 1877, and was moved to 
Pawnee City in 1878. 

Pierce County. The first paper in this county was the Pierce County Call, 
established October 6, 1877, at Pierce. 

Phelps County. Two papers started at Phelps Center late in the "705. They 
were the Nebraska Nugget and the Phelps County News. 

Platte County. The first paper published in Columbus was the Golden Age, 
started on June 21, 1866. The next one to be issued was the Platte Valley Journal, 
which was followed soon by the Columbus Journal, first issued May 11, 1870. The 
Columbus Gazette was started in March, 1881. The Independent was first issued 
in 1878. In May, 1875, the Columbus Republican had been started, which Calmer 
McCune later moved to David City. The Era, which later became the Democrat, 
was started in Fchnuiry. 1874, with W. N. Henslcy as editor. 

Polk Coiiiih/. 'I'lir lirst newspaper in this county was the Polk County Times, 
started at Sti(im.-bni-a- in 1872, edited by W. D. Ferre. The Osceola Record was 
inaugurated just before the death of the Times in 1872 as the Homesteader. The 
Herald, founded in December, 1879, by G. R. Xunnelly, in 1880 was changed 
to the Home News, and Inter ronsolidated with the Record. 

Bed Willow County. Iiiiliniitil.i'- first paper was the Courier. McCook's first 
paper, the Tribune, was started .Inn,, .s, 1882, by J. P. Isreal, who had sold his 
interest in the Culbertson Globe to found this paper in the new town. 

EicJiardson County. Richardson County presents a list of early papers, illustra- 
tive of the early journalism. The Broad Ax., was started in Falls City in the fall 
of 1858, owned by Maj. J. E. Burbank and cIiicmI Iiv Sewall Jamieson. Its motto 
was "Hew to the mark, let the chips fall wlirif they will." "There is a destiny 
which shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will." It later became the Southern 
Nebraskian. "The Little Globe, a small journal with great aims," was established 
in 187.3 with a flauiini:- ]nn-|M.« in-^, nf wliiih the following extract will give some 
idea: "Little, but (Hi. LonI I |'rM.|,... i u- ni' the Globe (the little) a journal of the 
third class, to be pnhlisheJ ewn Saimday at Falls City, Neb. The Little Globe 
will be intensely local, and as independent as a hog on ice. We hope to bless 
this town."' This modest announcement was signed "the meekest of men, Ed. W. 
Howe." This man's name has become a household word through the success he has 
since accomplished in Atchison, Kan., with his quaint but practical column of 
humor. The little journal he started, after a relapse, came forth in consolidation 
with the Nemaha Valley Journal as the Globe-Journal. The Journal had started 
at Brownville in 1868. The Falls City Press was started on February 1, 1875, and 
later became the News. The Richardson County Register was established in August, 
1881, at Rulo. The Humboldt Sentinel was started on November 2, 1877. 
The Farmers' Advocate made its bow on July !•. 1881. 'Hie Pooyjle's Paper was 


the spasmodic and erratic product of a character known as "Peanut" Wilson and 
did not remain long in the field. Salem's early paper was the Advertiser. 

Saline County. The first news journal in this county was the Saline County 
Post, at Crete, which was started in May, 1871, by Eev. Cliarles Little, a Con- 
gregational minister. It was consolidated in 1876 mth the Saline County Xews, 
and that paper later became the Saline County Union. The Wilber Record became 
the Saline County Standard at Crete. In 1879 this paper came into the hands of 
F. 0. Mark and W. G. and E. H. Purcell. The Saline County News had been 
started in Pleasant Hill, then the county seat of the county. It was removed 
to Crete after a year of existence. The Crete Sentinel was established in 1875 
and the Saline County Democrat in 1876. The first paper attempted in Wilber 
was called the Opposition, a paper first published at DeWitt. where it continued 
until 1877. The Wilber Record has been mentioned; and the Free Press came over 
from DeWitt in 1878, and a Bohemian sheet called the Besada was tried in 1877 
for a short time. 

Sarp!/ County. The Palladium has already been well discussed as well as the 
Gazette and Platte Valley Times. The first paper in Papillion was the Sentinel, 
which started in 1872, and the Papillion Times, established in 1874, was the next. 

Seivard County. The Nebraska Reporter, at Seward, was founded in October, 
1871. The Blue Valley Blade was started in 1879 and the Seward Gazette in 
1882. At Milford the Seward County Democrat was started in February, 1882. 

Sherman County. The first paper in this county was the Loup City News, issued 
on November 3, 1873. Its name was soon changed to the Sherman County Times, 
under which name it has remained. 

Stanton County. Lewis Ley started the first paper in this county, the Stanton 
Bugle, in 1873. An opposition paper called the Stanton County Echo came out a 
year or so later. The Index followed the Bugle into the field, and also out of it. 
The Stanton Register was started in 1879. 

Thayer County. The first member of the Thayer County press was the Hebron 
Journal, vhich one citizen said, while designated a "weekly" should be "weakly." 
He remarked it was a "tri-weekly" that is, "get out one week" and "try to get out the 
next." This joiirnal was established by E. M. Correll, one of the leading figures 
of early Nebraska journalism, when the town had only three houses and the coiinty 
a population of 500. In 1881, the Thayer County Sentinel and the Journal were 
consolidated. An alliance paper, the People's Advocate, was started on March IS, 
■1882. At Alexandria the News was started in 1879 by S. E. Babcock, first under 
the name of the Alexandrian. 

Valley County. The Valley County Journal was founded in February, 1879, 
by J. H. Capron, and the Ord Weekly Quiz was founded on April 6, 1882, by 
Will W. Haskell. These two papers are running in 1920, approximately forty 
years later. Mr. Capron is a successful abstractor and real estate broker of Ord, and 
;\Ii-. Haskell retired about two years ago after almost forty years' continuous service 
with the Quiz. 

Washington County. The earliest newspapers of this county were established at 
Cuming Citj-, when, in 1856, the Nebraska Pioneer was started, and in 1858 the 
Cuming City Star began to twinkle. The early papers in Desoto, among others, 
numbered the Desoto Pilot, established in 1857 by Isaac Parrish; the Washington 
Cdinifv Sun, established in 1858 by P. C. Sullivan: and llic Desoto Enquirer, by Z. 


Jackson. Blaii"s early papers were the Pilot, .brought from Tekamah by J. T. 
Lambert in 1874, and the Republican, started by W. H. B. Stout and others in 1870. 
Other early papers in Blair were the Blair Register, started in May, 1869, 
by Hilton & Son, and which L. F. Hilton took charge of in 1871. The Wash- 
ington County Democrat was started in September, 1881. 

Wayne County. The Wayne County Review was started May 22, 1875, at 
La Porte by Huse & Hunter. 

Webster County. The Webster County Argus was started in August, 1878, by 
A. J. Kenney. The Red Cloud Chief was established in July, 1873, by C. L. Mather. 
In its early days the Chief was printed on a Washington hand press, on which 
the oldest paper in Nebraska, the Brownville Advertiser, was first published in 
1856. It is said that the first issue of the Lincoln Daily State Journal was also 
printed on this same press. 

York County. The oldest of the newspapers of York is the Republican, which 
was founded in May, 1872. The Monitor, the Sentinel and the Record were the 
real early names of the first York papers. The name Republican was adopted by 
Messrs. Morgan and Ross in April, 1876. The York County Tribune was 
inaugurated by Frank A. Wellman, in March, 1877. The York County Times 
was established August 13, 1880. 


A review of the roster of Nebraska newspapers of this period will serve several 
purposes. It will show those few which have been able to survive a quarter-century 
and now and then one that has reached the half-century mark. It will serve as a 
catalogue of those towns large and small throughout the state that have reached 
a sufficient stage of importance to have a newspaper. A newspaper serves as the 
voice of the community, and no matter how small the town or how diminutive 
the "sheet" that issues forth each week from its post-office, its paper stamps the 
town as a community of individuality, progress, co-operation, optimism and real 
boosting spirit, or the opposite. 

A study of the names of Nebraska newspapers brings out many characteristics 
of the state. Many of the papers reflect the days when politics had a much sharper 
partisan tinge than it has had in recent years. Republicans, Democrats, Inde- 
pendents, Free-Press, Vindicator, Eagle, Delegate, are, titles that suggest the old 
political rivalry, especially in many towns where one paper still bears the title 
Republican, and its ancient rival Democrat. The common names of papers 
expressing tlie purposes of a newspaper abound, such as Herald, Courier, Chronicle, 
Reporter, Tribune, Times, Messenger, News, Clarion, Advocate, Press, Journal, 
Monitor, Argus, Register, Dispatch, Review, Telegraph, Telepost, Post, Graphic, 
Items, Index, Call, Mirror, Exchange, and Observer; and some of the names denote 
speed and "Progress," such as Advance, Express, Optimist, Booster, Auxiliary, 
probably the only paper in the nation of that name, at Fairfield, excejit the national 
trade journal, "Publishers Auxiliary"; Locomotive, Spotlight, Beacon, ■ Echo, 
Standard, Leader, Clipper, Rip-Saw, Enterprise and Banner. Unusual names as 
A'idette and Visitor appear. Sometimes a town is reflected as Waconion or 
Wymorean. The nature of the country sometimes is intimated as in Star, Breeze, 
Wave (though no ocean is near Nebraska), and Sun. The early Indian period 


appears reflected in Frontier, Pioneer, Signal, Chief, Cliieftain, Picket, Sentinel, 
Arbor State, Fontanelle; and the cattle days in Eustler, Blade, Maverick, and 
Stockman. The Faber is a paper that surely should receive pencils from a well 
known pencil manufacturer: the Loyalist reflects local pride; and Union, national 


The present newspapers of Nebraska in 1920, with the year of their establish- 
ment, is herewith given. Unless otherwise indicated the paper is a weekly paper. 
This list is given by towns, and cross-reference from the list of early papers to this 
list will show those few of the early papers which have survived a quarter-century 
or longer. Where not otherwise indicated, paper usually carries the name of the 
town in its title. 

Adams, Gage Co. Globe, 18S9. 

Ainsworth, Brofl-n Co. Brown County Democrat, 1906; Star-.Journal. 1880. 

Albion, Boone Co. Argus, 1876 ; News, 1879. 
Alexandria, Thayer Co. Argus, 1894. 

Allen, Dixon Co. News, 1890. 

Alliance, Box Butte Co. Herald, 1895; Times (Tues. and Fri.), 1887. 

Alma. Harlan County Journal, 1897; Record, 1892. 

Alvo, Cass Co. Advance. 

Anselmo, Custer Co. Enterprise, 1906. 

Ansley, Custer Co. Herald, 1891. 
Antioch, Sheridan Co. News, 1913. 

Arapahoe, Furnas Co. Public Mirror, 1882. 

Arcadia, Valley Co. Champion, 1896. 

Arlington, Washington Co. Review-Herald, 1882. 

Arnold, Custer Co. Sentinel, 1911. 

Arthur, Arthur Co., 1911. 

Ashland, Saunders Co. Gazette, 1878. 

Asliton, Sherman Co. Herald, 1915. 

Atkinson, Holt Co. Graphic, 1880. 

Auburn, Nemaha Co. Nemaha County Herald, 1888; Nemaha County Repub- 
lican, 1879. 

Aurora, Hamilton Co. Hamilton County Register, 1890; the Sun, 1885, and 
the Republican, 1873. 

Axtell, Kearney Co. Guidax (Golden Ear), Swedish paper, monthly religious 
journal, 1913; the Times, 1896. 

Bancroft, Cuming Co. Blade, 1889. 

Bartlett, Wheeler Co. Wheeler County Independent, 1891. 

Bartley, Red Willow Co. Inter-Ocean, 1886. 

Bassett. Rock County Leader, 1897. 

Battle Creek, Madison Co. The Enterprise, 1887. 

Bayard, Morrill Co. Transcript, started in 1888 by the Wisner family ami run 
by R. A. Wisner now; Farmers' Exchange, 1917. 

Beatrice, Gage Co. Express, evening, except Sund;iy, 1884; Sun. morning 
except Monday, 1902. 

Beaver Citv, Furnas Co. The Sun. 1918; Times-Tribune, 1873. 


Beemer, Cuming Co. Times, 1886. 

Belden, Cedar Co. Progress, 1893. 

Belgrade, Xaace Co. Herald, 1900. 

Bellwood, Butler Co. Gazette, 1886. 

Benkleman, Dundy Co. News-Chronicle, 1893; Post, 1916. 

Beunet, Lancaster Co. Sun, 1911. 

Bennington. Douglas Co. Herald, 1904. 

Benson. Douglas Times, 1903. 

Bertrand. Phelps Independent-Herald, 1896. 

Bethany, Lancaster Co. Cotner Collegian, by students of Cotner University, 

Bladen, Webster Co. Enterprise, 1893. 

Blair, Washington Co. Tribune, 1870; Pilot, 1872; Enterprise, 1896; and 
Dankersch (Danish), 1892. 

Bloomfield, Knox Co. Journal, 1913: Monitor, 1890. 

Bloomington. Franklin County Tribune, 1916; Advocate, 1881. 

Blue Hill. Webster Leader, 1887. 

Blue Springs, Gage Co. Sentinel, 1886. 

Bradshaw, York Co. Monitor, 1896. 

Brady, Lincoln Co. Vindicator, 1908. 

Brainard, Butler Co. Clipper, 1897. 

Brewster, Blaine Co. News, 1883. 

Bridgeport, Morrill Co. Herald, 1912, conducted by C. D. Capper, a news- 
paper man of Nebraska for almost lialf a'' century who died late in 1920; News- 
Blade, 1900, when the town started. 

Bristow, Boyd Co. Enterprise, 1902. 

Broadwater, Morrill Co. News, 1911. 

Brock, Nemaha Co. Bulletin, 1895. 

Broken Bow, Custer Co. Custer County Chief, 1892, with a weekly circulation of 
approximately -1,000, one of the largest, if not the largest in the state; Custer 
County Republican, 1882, conducted for many years by Hon. D. M. Amsberry, the 
present secretary of state. 

Brownlee, Cherry Co. . Booster, 1914. 

Bruning, Thayer Co. Banner, 1918. 

Brunswick, Antelope Co. Independent, 1908. 

Burchard. Pawnee Times, 1899. 

Burwell, Garfield Co. Tribune, 1888. 

Bushnell, Kimball Co. Record, 1917. 

Butte, Boyd Co. Gazette, 1892. 

Cairo, Hall Co. Record, 1903. 

Callaway, Custer Co. Loup Valley Queen, 1902. 

Cambridge, Furnas Co. Clarion, 1885. 

Campbell, Franklin Co. Citizen, 1900. 

Carroll, Wayne Co. Index, 1901. 

Cedar Bluffs, Saunders Co. Standard, 1891. 

Central City, Merrick Co. Nonpareil, 1882 ; Republican, 1893. 

Chadron, Dawes Co. Chronicle, 1909; Journal, 1884. 

Chambers, Holt Co. Sun, 1879. 


Chappell, Deuel Co. Eegister, 1887. 

Chester, Thayer Co. Herald, 1885. 

Clarks, Merrick Co. Enterprise, 1891. 

Clarkson. Colfax County Press, IDO-l; a Bohemian weekly, 1901. 

Clay Center. Clay County Patriot, 1892; Clay County Sun, 1884. 

Clearwater, Antelope Co. Eecord, 1897. 

Cody, Cherry Co. Cow Boy, 1900. 

Coleridge, Cedar Co. Blade, 1891. 

College View. Christian Eecord, monthly, printed in raised type for the blind; 
Nebraska Club Bulletin, for Nebraska women's clubs, 1912; the Gazette-Advocate, 
1910; Seventh Day Adventist publishing house is located here. 

Columbus, Platte Co. News, evening, except Sunday; Telegram, Ex -Lieut. 
Gov. Edgar Howard, editor, 1879. 

Comstock, Custer Co. News, 1907. 

Cook, Johnson Co. Courier, 1898. 

Cortland, Gage Co. News, 1897. 

Cozad, Dawson Co. Local, 1897. 

Crab Orchard, Johnson Co. Herald, 1889. 

Craig, Burt Co. News, 1887. 

Crawford, Dawes Co. Courier, 190G; Tribune, 1887. 

Creighton, Knox Co. News, 1890. 

Creston, Platte Co. Statesman, 1897. 

Crete, Saline Co. Democrat, 1874; News, 1908; Vidette, 1870; Doane Owl, 
collegiate, 1878; and Zivot (Life) (Bohemian), 1910. 

Crofton, Knox Co. Journal, 1906. 

Crookston, Cherry Co. Herald, 1913. 

Culbertson, Hitchcock Co. Banner, 1905. 

Curtis, Frontier Co. Enterprise, 1890. 

Dakota City. Dakota County Herald, 1891; North Nebraska Eagle, 1876. 

Dalton, Cheyenne Co. Delegate, 1914. 

Danbury. Eed Willow News, 1898. 

Dannebrog, Howard Co. News, 1898. 

Davenport, Thayer Co. People's Journal, 1890. 

Dave)'. Lancaster Mirror, by Lincoln publishing house; also one at Ceresco, 
so published. 

David City. Butler County Press, 1873 ; People's Banner, 1890. 

Dawson, Richardson Co. Reporter, 1913. 

Decatur, Burt Co. Herald, 1902. 

Deshler, Thayer Co. Rustler, 1899. 

DeWitt, Saline Co. Eagle, 1894; Times-News, 1881. 

Diller, Jefferson Co. Record, 1887. 

Dix, Kimball Co. Tribune, 1919. 

Dixon, Dixon Co. Journal, 1908. 

Dodge, Dodge Co. Criterion, 1888. 

Doniphan, Hall Co. Enterprise, 1914. 

Dorchester, Saline Co. Star, 1881. 

Douglas, Otoe Co. Enterprise, 1889, prints an edition for Burr, Neb., under 
name of Burr Bulletin. 


Dubois, Pawnee Co. Press, 1905. 

Dunbar, Otoe Co. Eeview, 1899. 

Dunning. Blaine County Booster, 1909. 

Eagle. Cass Co. Beaeon, 1899. 

Edtlyville. Enterprise, 1906. , 

Edgar. Clay County Post, 1884; Sun, 1899. 

Elgin, Antelope Co. Review, 1897. 

Elklmiii, Douglas Co. Exchange, printed by Gazette, at Wahoo. 

Elm. ivrk. r.iilValoCo. Beacon,l898. 

EIiuuihhI. Cass Co. Leader-Echo, 1886. 

Elwood, Gosper Co. Bulletin, 1896. 

Emerson, Dixon Co. Enterprise, 1892. 

Erirson. Wheeler Co. Journal, 1912. 

East IS. Frdiilier Co. News, 1904. 

Ewiiig. Holt Co. People's Advocate, 1891. 

Exeter. Fillmore County Is^'ews, 1891. 

Fairhury, Jefferson Co. Journal, 1892; Xews and Gazette, 1897. 

Fairfield, Clay Co. Auxiliary, 1911. 

Fairmont. Fillmore Chronicle, 1872. 

Falls City, Richardson Co. Journal, evening except Sunday, 1866; iSTews, morn- 
ing except Monday, 1874. 

Farnam, Dawson Co. Echo, 1903. 

Filley, Gage Co. Spotlight, 1915. 

Firth, Lancaster Co. Advocate, 1915. 

Florence, Douglas Co. Fontanelle, 1915. 

Fort Calhoun, Washington Co. Chronicle, 1915. 

Franklin. Franklin County News, 1910; Sentinel, 1890. 

Fremont, Dodge Co. Tribune, evening except Sunday, 1883; Herald, 1871. 

Friend, Saline Co. Sentinel, 1898; Telegraph, 1877. 

Fullerton, Xance Co. Xews-Journal, 1879; Post, 1888. 

Gandy. Logan County Pioneer, 1886. 

Geneva, Fillmore Co. Nebraska Signal, 1875. 

Genoa, Nance Co. Indian New.s, monthly. Indian affairs, 1897; Leader, 
1879; The Times; 1902. 

Gering, Scotts Bluff Co. Courier, 1887; Midwest, 1915. 

Gibbon, Buffalo Co. Reporter, 1890. 

Gilead, Thayer Co. Xews, printed by Hebron Register. 

Giltner, Hamilton Co. Gazette, 1901. 

Gordon, Sheridan Co. Journal, 1892. 

Gothenberg, Dawson Co. Independent, 1885; Times, 1908. 

Grand Island, Hall Co. Daily Independent, except Sunday, as a daily in 
1883; started as Platte Valley Independent, a weekly, in 1869, at North J'latte, 
and 1870 at Grand Island, semiweekly issued Tuesday and Friday; Herald, weekly 
(formerly German paper) ; Volante, by students of Grand Island College. 

Grant. Perkins Co. Tribune-Sentinel, 1897. 

Greeley, Greeley Co. Citizen, 1892 ; Leader-Independent, 1887. 

Greenwood, Cass Co. Gazette, by Interstate Co., at Lincoln. 

Gresham, York Co. Gazette, 1887. 


Gretna, Sarpy Co. Breeze, 1899. 

Guide Eock, Webster Co. Signal, 1883. 

Haigler, Dundy Co. Xews, 1911. 

Hardy, XuckoUs Co. Herald, 1880. 

Harrisburg. Banner County Xews, 1893. 

Harrison, Sioux Co. Sun, 1900. 

Hartington. Cedar County Xews, 1898; Herald, 1883. 

Harvard, Clay Co. Courier, 1885. 

Hastiiior^. Adams County Democrat, 1880; Tribune, evening except Sunday, 
l!i(i5; Collegian, Hastings College students. 

Havelock, Lancaster Co. Post, 1913; Times, 1890. 

Hayes Center, Hayes Co. Times-Republican, 1886. 

Hay Springs, Sheridan Co. Xews, 1910. 

Hebron, Thayer Co. Journal. 1S71 : Register, 1883, prints editions as Gilead 
Xews and Bruning Courier. 

Hemingford, Box Butte Co. Ledger, 1915. 

Henry, ScottsblufE Co. Messenger, 1917. 

Herman, Washington Co. Record, 1908. 

Hershey, Lincoln Co. Times, 1911. 

Hickman, Lancaster Co. Enterprise, 1886. 

Hildreth, Franklin Co. Telescope, 1887. 

Holbrook, Furnas Co. Observer, 1905. 

Holdrege, Phelps Co. Citizen, 1884; Progress, 1887. 

Homer, Dakota Co. Star, 1910. 

Hooper, Dodge Co. Sentinel, 1885. 

Hoskins, Wayne Co. Headlight, 1905. 

Howell, Colfax Co. Journal, 1888. 

Hubbell, Thayer Co. Standard, 1890. 

Humboldt, Richardson Co. Leader, 1897; Standard, 1890. 

Humphrey, Platte Co. Democrat, 1886. 

Hyannis. Grant County Tribune, 1888. 

Imperial, Chase Co. Republican, 1899. 

Indianola, Red Willow Co. Reporter, 1891. 

Inman, Holt Co. Leader, 19U. 

Jansen. Jefferson County Xews, 1915. 

Johnson. Xemaha County Xews, 1892. 

Johnstown, Brown Co. Enterprise, 1908. 

Kearney, Buffalo Co. Hub, started 1874, daily, evening except Sunday, 
and Thursday weekly edition; Democrat, 1894; Nebraska State Grange Journal 
published here. 

Kenesaw, Adams Co. Progress, 1917. 

Kennard. Washington County Xews, 1916. 

Kilgore. Cherry County Messenger, 1918. 

Kimball. Western Xebraska Observer, 1885. This paper bad as its early 
editor Charles H. Randall, the only prohibition candidate ever elected to Congress, 
now a resident of California. 

Ijakeside, Sheridan Co. Sun, 1918. 

Laurel, Cedar Co. Advocate, 1893. 


Lawrence, Nuckolls Co. Locomotive, 1888. 

Lebanon, Red Willow Co. Advertiser, 1918. 

Leigh, Colfax Co. World, 1885. 

Lewellen, Garden Co. Optimist, 1917. 

Lewiston, Pawnee Co. Post, 1912. 

Lexington. Dawson County Pioneer, 1873; Clipper-Citizen, 1888. 

Liberty, Gage Co. Journal, 1882. 

Lincoln, Lancaster Co. Nebraska State Journal, every morning, evening edition 
formerly Evening News, weekly on Wednesday. Daily Star, each evening except Sun- 
day and on Sunday morning. Inter-state Newspaper Company issues Alva Advance, 
Ceresco Courier, Davey Mirror, Denton Record, Garland Herald, Greenwood 
Gazette, Nebraska State Democrat at Lincoln ; Malcolm Messenger ; Martel Leader, 
Raymond Review and Waverly Watchman. Lincoln has numerous papers for 
trades, societies, including University of Nebraska publications. Daily Nebraskan, 
Awgan and Cornhusker (annual), German Freie Presse, W. J. Bryan's Com- 
moner, Weekly Herald, Journal of Orthopedic Surgery, Midwest Printer, Motor 
Highway, Nebraska Farmer, owned by Governor S. R. McKelvie, Nebraska Legal 
News, Trade Review, and numerous publications by state associations with head- 
quarters here. 

Lindsay, Platte Co. Post, 1897. 

Lisco, Garden Co. Tribune, 1912. 

Litchfield, Sherman Co. Monitor, 1886. 

Lodge Pole, Cheyenne Co. Express, 1886. 

Long Pine, Brown Co. Journal, 1883. 

Loomis, Phelps Co. Sentinel, 1910. 

Louisville, Cass Co. Courier, 1890. 

Loup City. Sherman County Times, 1877; People's Standard, 1919. 

Lynch, Boyd Co. Herald, 1897. 

Lyons, Burt Co. Mirror-Sun, 1884. 

McCook. Red Willow County Gazette, 1911; Republican, 1880; Tribune, 1882. 

McCool Junction, Yotk Co. Blue Valley Journal, 1897. 

Madison, Madison Co. Star-Mail, 1893; Chronicle, 1873. 

Mason City, Custer Co. Transcript, 1909. 

Maxwell, Lincoln Co. Telepost, 1910. 

May wood, Frontier Co. Eagle-Reporter, 1891, prints also the; Dickens Enter- 
prise; Moorefield Herald; Wellfieet News. 

Meadow Grove, Madison Co. News, 1906. 

Merna, Custer Co. Messenger, formerly the Postal-Card, 1902. 

Merriman, Cherry Co. Maverick, 1910. 

:Milford, Seward Co. Review, 1910. 

Millard, Douglas Co. Courier, issued by Waterloo Gazette. 

Milligan, Fillmore Co. Times, 1901. 

Minatare, Scottsbluff Co. Fiv<' Press, 1908. 

Minden, Kearney Co. Cniirirr. ls!H); News, 1894. 

Mitchell, Scottsbluff Co. Index, 11(01. 

Monroe, Platte Co. Republican, 1891. 

Moorefield, Frontier Co. Is.sued by ilaywood Eagle-Reporter. 

Morrill, Scottsbluff Co. Mail. 1007. 


Mullen. Hooker County Tribune, 1894. 

Nebraska City, Otoe Co. Xews, evening except Sunday and Thursday, started 
in 1854, daily in 1874; Nebraska Press, morning except Monday, started in 1858. 

Nehawka, Cass Co. News-Ledger, 1888. 

Neligh, Antelope Co. Leader, 1885; Register, 1903; News, 1915. 

Nelson. Nuckolls County Herald, 1876 ; Gazette, 1884. 

Newcastle, Dixon Co. Times, 1893. 

NewTuan Grove, Madison Co. Reporter, 1886. 

Niobrara, Knox Co. Tribune, 1890. 

N'orfolk, Madison Co. News, evening except Sunday, 1887; Press, 1902; 
a German weekly, 1908. 

North Bend, Dodge Co. Eagle, 1890. 

North Loup, Valley Co. Loyalist, 1888. 

North Platte, Lincoln Co. Telegraph, evening except Sunday, since 1908, and 
Thursday, weekly since 1873 ; Tribune, Tuesday and Friday, 1885. 

Oak. Nuckolls Co. Leaf, 1914. 

Oakdale, Antelope Co. Sentinel, 1887. 

Oakland, Burt Co. Independent-Republican, 1880. 

Oconto, Custer Co. Oconto Register, 1905. 

Odell, Gage Co. Wave, 1893. 

Ogalalla. Keith County News, 1884. 

Omaha. Bee, World-Herald and Daily News, each issue several editions a 
day; Bee and World-Herald, morning, noon and evening editions, except only 
morning on Sunday, and News, mainly noon and evening daily editions and Sunday 
morning. Weekly papers in Omaha are: Danske Pioneer (Danish), Sophus 
F. Neble, editor; Examiner, Alf. Sorenson; Excelsior, Clement Chase; 
Gwiazda Zachodu (Western Star) Polish; Jewish Bulletin; Mid-AYest Hotel 
Reporter; Monitor (Negro); Nebraska Democrat, John M. Tanner, editor; 
Bohemian daily and weekly; Pokrok (Pi'ogi-ess) ; Swedi-sh-Posten ; Bohemian, 
Rozheedy (Review); Italian, Stampa (press) Trade Exhibit; German Tribune, 
daily and weekly; daily legal paper; Record, N. 0. Talbot, editor; True Voice, 
Catholic; Unionist, Western Laborer; North Omaha Booster. A dozen or more 
monthlies for various trades, societies or associations grace Omalia's journalistic 
field. Among these are Creighton Chronicle, collegiate ; Crozier, Episcopal ; Bohem- 
ian Poultry News (Drubeznicke Noviny) ; Middle West School Review; Motor- 
ist; Nebraska Loyalist; Nebraska State ^ledical ; Journal, recently edited by Dr. 
J. M. Aiken, who died in November, 1920: Ni-braska Union Farmer, semimonthly; 
Sovereign Visitor and Woodmen News, issued by Woodmen of the World, which 
order has its national headquarters in an eigliteen story building it built in Onuilia ; 
Tidings, organ of AVoodmen Circle; Time-Saver Railway Guide; Tradesman; 
Ungdom (Danish), semimonthly; Western Medical Review, Dr. A. L. Muirhead, 
editor; Western Scot, devoted to Scottish interests. 

O'Neill, Holt Co. Frontier, 1880; Holt County Independent. 1891. 

Ong, Clay Co. Sentinel, 1919. 

Orchard, Antelope Co. News, 1902. 

Ord, Valley Co. Journal, 1883; Quiz, 1882. 

Orleans, Harlan Co. Chronicle, 1914. 


Osceola. Polk County Democrat, 1888, edited by former State Printer E. A. 
VValrath; Eecord, 1876. 

Oshkosh. Garden County News, 1909. 

Osmond, Pierce Co. Eepubliean, 1891. 

Otoe. Otoe County Times, 1915. 

Overton, Dawson Co. Herald, 1901. 

Oxford, Furnas Co. Standard, 1885. 

Page, Holt Co. Eeporter, 1902. 

Palisade, Hitchcock Co. Times, 1909. 

Palmer, Merrick Co. Journal, 1911. 

Palmyra, Otoe Co. Items, 1887. 

Papillion, Sarpy Co. Times, 1874. 

Pawnee City, Pawnee Co. Pawnee Chief, 1900; Pawnee Eepubliean, 1868; 
Pawnee County Schools, monthly, educational, 1902. 

Pender, Thurston Co. Eepublic, 1889; Times, 1886. 

Peru, Nemaha Co. Normalite, by Normal students, collegiate; Pointer, 1897. 

Petersburg, Boone Co. Index, 1891. 

Pierce. Pierce County Call, 1877 ; Pierce County Leader, 1889. 

Pilger, Stanton Co. "Herald, 1901. 

Plainview, Pierce Co. News, 1892. 

Platte Center. Platte Signal, 1894. 

Plattsmouth, Cass Co. Journal, evening except Sunday, since 1904, and Mon- 
day and Thursday. Started in 1881. 

Plymouth, Jefferson Co. News, 18!):). 

Polk, Polk Co. Progress, 1907. 

Ponca. Dixon County Advocate, 1915; Nebraska Journal-Leader, 1871. 

Potter, Cheyenne Co. Eeview, 1912. 

Primrose, Boone Co. Press, 1911. 

Eagan, Harlan Co. Journal, 1906. 

Ealston, Douglas Co. Industrial, 1914. 

Eandolph, Cedar Co. Times-Enterprise, 1888. 

Eavenna. News, 1886. Its editor, C. B. Cass, is one of the veterans of the 
journalistic fold of Nebraska. 

Eaymond, Lancaster Co. Eeview, by Interstate Co., Lincoln. 

Eed Cloud, Webster Co. Chief, started in 1873; Advertiser, weekly 1913, and 
thriee-a-week as Commercial-Advertiser, Webster County Argus, since 1878. 

Eepubliean City. Harlan County Eanger, 1902. 

Eising City, Butler Co. Independent, 1880. 

Eiverton, Fi'anklin Co. Eeview, 1870. 

Eosalie, Thurston Co. Eip-Saw, 1909. 

Eulo, Eichardson Co. Star, 1919. 

Eushville, Sheridan Co. Standard, 1885; Eecorder, 1895. 

Euskin, Nuckolls Co. News, 1912. 

St. Edward. Boone County Advance, 1900. 

St. Paul, Howard Co. Phonograph, edited by former State Printer J. F. 
Web.«ter, 1871; Eepubliean, 1890. 

Salem, Eichardson Co. Standard, 1910. 

Sargent, Custer Co. Leader, 1899. 


Scluiyler, Colfax Co. Suu, sIjk-o ISTl; Messenger, 1909. 

Scotia, Greeley Co. Eegister, 189.5. 

Scottsbhiff, ScottsblufE Co. Republican, 1900; Star-Herald, 1906. 

Scribner, Dodge Co. Eustler, 1894. 

Seneca. Thomas County Clipper, 1910. 

Seward, Seward Co. Blue \'alley Blade, 1877; Seward County Tribune, 191.5; 
Independent-Democrat, 1891; .lournal, 1899. 

Shelby, Polk Co. Sun, 1898. 

Shelton. Buffalo Clipper, 1879. 

Shickley, Fillmore Co. Herald, 1886. 

Shubert. Richardson Citizen, 189-1. 

Sidney, Cheyenne Co. Telogi'a])h, 1873; Enterprise, 1917. 

Silver Creek, Merrick Co. Sand. 1903. 

Snyder, Dodge Co. Bannci'. 19(KJ. 

South Sioux City, Dakota Co. ilail, 1919. 

Spalding, Greeley Co. Enterprise, 1901. 

Spencer, Boyd Co. Advocate, 1893. 

Springfield, Sarpy Co. ^Monitor, 1882. 

Springview, Keya Paha Co. Herald, 1886. 

Stamford, Harlan Co. Star, 1914. 

Stanton, Stanton Co. Picket, 1893 ; Register, 1877. 

Stapleton, Logan Co. Enterprise, 1912. 

Steele City, JeiTerson Co. Press, 1904. 

Steinauer, Pawnee Co. Star, 1892. 

Stella, Richardson Co. Press, 1882. 

Sterling, Johnson Co. Sun, 1886. 

Stockville, Frontier Co. Faber, 1884. 

Stratton, Hitchcock Co. News, 1910. 

Stromsburg. Polk Co. Headlight, 1885. 

Stuart, Holt Co. Advocate, 1906 

Sumner, Dawson Co. News, 1907. 

Superior, Nuckolls Co. Express, 1900; Journal, 1882; Philatelic West and 
Collector's Monthly, 189.5. 

Surprise, Butler Co. Enterprise, 1914. 

Sutherland, Lincoln Co. Courier, 1897. 

Sutton, Clay, Co. Register, 1880; News, 1887. 

Syracuse, Otoe Co. Journal-Democrat, 1878. 

Table Rock, Pawnee Co. Argus. 1882. 

Talmage, Otoe Co. Tribune, 1882. 

Tamora, Seward Co. Sheilds Tamora Lyre, 1916. 

Taylor, Loup Co. Clarion, 1883. 

Tecumseh, Jolmson Co. Cliieftain, since 186.5; Johnson County Journal, 1878. 

Tekamah. Burl Cmnly Herald. ISSl ; .T„nrnal, 1873. 

Thedford. Tlumias County llrnild, 1S98. 

Tildcn, Madison Co. Citizen, 1890. 

Tobias, Saline Co. E.xpress, 1884. 

Trenton, Hitchcock Co. Register, 1884; Republican Valley Leader, 1894. 

Tryon, iEcPhcrson Co. Graphic, 1889. 


Uehling, Dodge Co. Post, 1919. 

Ulysses, Butler Co. Dispatch, 1880. 

Unadilla, Otoe Co. Union, 1896. 

University Place, Lancaster Co. News, 1905; Wesleyan, collegiate, 1890. 

Upland, Frankling Co. Eagle, 1898. 

Utica, Seward Co. Sun, 1887. 

Valentine, Cherry Co. Democrat, 1885; Republican, 1887. 

Valley, Douglas Co. Enterprise, 1887; West End Advocate, 1915. 

Valparaiso, Saunders Co. Visitor, 1891. 

Verdel, Knox Co. Outlook, 1902. 

Verdigre, Knox Co. Citizen, 1899. 

Verdon, Eichardson Co. Vedette, 1883. 

Waco, York Co. Waconian, 1919. 

Walioo, Saunders Co.. Democrat, 1881, edited by former .-^tate printer, X. J. 
Ludi ; Wasp, 1875. 

Wakefield, Dixon Co. Eepublican, 1882. 

Wallace, Lincoln Co. Winner, 1908. 

AValthill, Thur.ston Co. Citi^n, 1915; Times, 1906. 

W^aterloo, Douglas Co. Independent, 1895, prints and issues Elkhorn Exchange 
and Millard Courier. 

Wauneta, Chase Co. Breeze, 1887. 

Wausa, Knox Co. Gazette, 1898. 

Waverly. Lancaster Watchman, by Interstate Publishing Company of Lincoln. 

Wayne, Wayne Co. Herald, 1874; Nebraska Democrat, 1884. 

Weeping Water, Cass Co. Eepublican, 1882. 

Wellfleet. News, by Maywood Eagle-Eeporter. 

Western, Saline Co. Wave, 1882. 

West Point, Cuming Co. Democrat, 1875; Republican, 1870. 

Wilber. Saline County Democrat, 1888 ; Republican, 1887. 

Wilcox, Kearney Co. Herald, 1884. 

Wilsonville, Furnas Co. Eeview, 1885. 

Winnebago, Thurston Co. Chieftain, 1907. 

Winnetoou, Knox Co. Pioneer, 1910. 

Winside, Wayne Co. Tribune, 1889. 

Wisner, Cuming Co. Chronicle, 1886. 

Wolbach, Greeley Co. Messenger, 1906. 

Wood Lake, Cherry Co. Stockman, 1911. 

WjTTiore, Gage Co. Arbor State, evening except Sunday and Friday, weekly 
since 1874, and daily since 1916; Wymorean, 1882. 

Wynot, Cedar Co. Tribune, 1907. 

York, York Co. Eepublican, 1876; Democrat, 1881; News-Times, daily, evening 
except Sunday, 1909; New-Teller, 1897. 

Yutan, Saunders Co. News-Advocate, 1915. 

Among new newspapers started in 1920 arc: Curtis Courier; Madrid (Perkins 
Co.) Herald; Maskell (Dixon Co.) Herald; Melbeta (Scottsbluff Co.) Times; 
Newport (Eock Co.) News; Verdon (Richardson Co.) Delphic, and Virginia (Cage 
Co.) Virginian. 








The early banking history of Nebraska during territorial days is badly marred 
with considerable "wild-cat" records. Some brief conception of the operations of 
these wild-cat banks may possibly be gained by a brief examination, and a few 
excerpts from a paper prepared by A. 6. Warner for the Nebraska State Historical 
Society, and published in Vol. II (1887) of its Proceedings and Compilations. 
Mr. Warner defined the operation of wild-cat banking something like this : 

"Just at the beginning of the present century, in the Empire state, that con- 
genial home of all forms of political rascality, Aaron Burr had tried liis prentice hand 
at stealing a bank charter through the New York legislature under the guise of a 
bill to incorporate 'A company to supply the city of New York with water.' Fol- 
lowing the lead of Massachusetts and New York, various states tried first special 
and then general acts of incorporation for banks having a right to issue currency, 
but like the traveler choosing between two roads in an Illinois swamp, whichever 
way they went they were sure to wish they had gone the other."" 

The experience of older states in creating banks brought about by illicit lobbying, 
meeting the examiner's visit with specially borrowed specie, with many times the 
amount of worthless notes in the hands of a gullible public as it began to have 
assets, and even at times the "busting" of a bank named for some place that never 
existed in the state seemed never to teach the new ones anything. It was only 
another form of the spirit that in recent years has permitted such unbridled 
traffic in oil stocks, worthless securities and stocks of "well watered" promoting 
schemes, despite securities and blue-sky laws as well devised as legal minds have 
been able to figure them out. Even Nebraska was no exception. Its first company 
to be incorporated was the "Western Fire and Marine Insurance and Exchange 
Company," on March 16, 185.5, with powers to issue currency, and do various 
financial business that the modern banking laws would hardly permit to the best 
regulated bank, and so much so. that it surreptitiously got itself into existence 
as the "Western Exchange Bank of Omaha." Its cashier was Levy E. Tuttle, who 
afterwards, under Lincoln, was treasurer of the United States and the paying 
teller was A. M. Wyman. who at a subsequent perio<l lield the same high honor. 


A. D. Jones, a representative from Douglas County, claimed in his day to have 
consistently voted against the flock of banking bills in the first Legislature. 

This fight came up in the second Legislature, and J. Sterling Morton foiight 
against the chartering of banks on any system except that of surplus capital. 
Five banks were chartered in this session : The Platte Valley Bank (at Nebraska 
City), the first bank established there; Stephen F. XuckoUs was president and 
Joshua Garside, cashier. It was one of the six territorial banks that survived 
the panic of 1857 and one of the few that was really owned locally. The 
Fontanelle Bank at Florence, its owners being Greene, Weare & Benton. It went 
under in the panic of 1857. The Bank of Florence, which also went under at that 
time. The Bank of Nebraska, at Omaha, Samuel Moffatt, cashier, the second 
of the three Douglas County banks to go under in the panic of 1857. The Nemaha 
Valley Bank at Brownville. The charters had all been drawn in similar form, were 
"lobbied through" in similar manner, and each company was made up of a few 
persons. The stock was either $50,000 or $100,000, to be increased at will to 
$500,000 and divided in shares of $100 each. When $35,000 of this stock had been 
subscribed the company could go to work. 

Mr. Warner summarizes this stock as being "assignable and transferable accord- 
ing to such regulations as the directors might think proper. The bank had the 
power to issue notes, bills, and other certificates of indebtedness, to deal in exchange 
and do a general banking business. The stockholders were individually liable for 
the redemption of the currency issued, but there was no provision for a fixed specie 
reserve, nor other guard against individual rascality or incompetency." 

Anyone desiring to examine the text of these charters may find them in Acts 
of Second Legislative Session, pp. 224, 230, 177, 202 and 208. No annual report 
was ever made in accordance with such provision as there was for that safeguard. 

After the ruin of 1857 struck Nebraska, a correspondent of the St. Louis 
Republican thus placed the ownership of the new Territory's first six banks, and 
two of their predecessors: 

Nemaha Valley Bank, Galesburg, 111. 

Platte Valley Bank, Nebraska City, Neb. 

Fontanelle Bank of Florence, Elgin, 111. 

Western Fire & Marine Ins. Bank, Galva, 111. 

Bank of Nebraska, at Omaha and Council Bluffs, la. 

Bank of Florence, Davenport, la. 

Bank of Desoto, Wisconsin. 

Bank of Tekamah, Bloomington and Gossport, Ind. 
This list was reprinted in the Brownville Advertiser of July 8, 1858. 

The third session was swamped with such bills, but only two banks reached 
the final goal of incorporation, the bank of Desoto and Bank of Tekamah. men- 
tioned above. 

The panic of 1857 practically ended tlip passage of special acts of incorporation 
for banks, except there was an attempt to "wire" through the 1858 session a measure 
to establish a "State Bank of Nebraska" to do business with the state and have 
branches in other parts of the commonwealth. Even though the measure passed the 
council. Dr. G. L. Miller stemmed the tide by exposing an attemi)t to bribe him, 
by leaving a note on his desk that if lie would support the measure he would receive 


$250 in cash and the privilege of making a loan of $5,000 without interest when 
the institution should be started. 

A great many of the earlier more substantial banks which started as the com- 
munities began to build up were private institutions and later became state and 
national banks. We will only endeavor in the following brief review to list some of 
the earlier towns and mention the first banks that started in those towns, to give 
an idea of the evolution of the present Nebraska banking system. 

Nebra.ska City. James Sweet National Bank, established September ID, 1859, 
as a pi-ivatc liaiik. Iiy,'!-. Sweet & Co., ami assumcil the title first given on .June 
.'?(), l.ssi. alter lour or li\e elianges in the membership of the tlrm. James 
Sweet was jiresident and head of it. 

Otoe County National Bank, eliartered May, 18(55, Talbut Ashton, president, 
J. Metcalf, cashier. 

Nebraska City National Bank, ISTl. O. J. MeCann, president. John W. Stein- 
hart, acting cashier. 

Omaha. A cursory examination of the banks that came and went during a 
quarter century, after the panic of 1857, in Omaha, will serve as a good barometer 
of the progress of the banking business in Nebraska. 

Private banks were started during the period from 1857 to 1860 by Samuel 
E. Rogers, Smith & Parmalee, and Gridley & Co. None of these were longlived, 

In 1858 William Young Brown started a bank of issue on the corner of Farnam 
and lileventh streets, of which J. D. Briggs was cashier. This bank went into 
liquidation after a year or so, leaving its paper afloat. 

J. A. Ware & Co. started a bank at the corner of Thirteenth and Farnam streets 
in 1865 and continued in business for five or six years. The firm was composed of 
J. A. Ware, Nebra.ska City; J. W. Angus, Omaha.; and P. S. Wilson, Cheyenne. 

In April, 1868, the "Central National Bank" was orgnni^^ed with John McCor- 
mick, president; J. E. Boyd, vice president; and .7. .M. A\'atson, cashier. It was 
located on the south side of Farnam Street, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth 
streets. In January, 1871, this liank wound up its affairs and closed its doors. 

I'hese institutions have been (b-alt with a little out of chronological order for 
the reason that they were short-lived. To" revert liack to early daj's, the first 
banking house established in Omaha (and ilie oldest with one exception in the 
Territory) was that of Barrows, .Alillanl .V- Co., which started early in 1856. 
The house was composed of Willard Harrows, .1. 11. :\Iillard, Ezra Millard and 
S. S. Caldwell. Business prospered with the firm. 

In 1864 the title became Millard. Cablwell & Co., and ilay 1, 1868. the firm 
name became Caldwell, Hamilton & Co.. ('. W. Hamilton at this time purchasing 
the entire interest of Mr. ilillard. In Oclober, 188:?, this firm's bank opened 
up as the United Stales National Bank. 

The house of Kountze I'.ros. was esiablisli,'.! in 1S5T l,y Augustus. L. W. and 
Herman Kountze. A large business was doiu' l)y this lirui down to the year 1865 
when it merged into the First National Bank. 

The First Naiinnal Bank was organized .\ugust '.'C, ISC,:?; eonunenced busi- 
ness April 1. ISCI, and was consolidated witli the preceding firm July 1, 1865. The 
first ofliceis were ivlwai'd Creigbton, |)i-esident. and Herman Kountze. cashier. 
The first board of direct. .rs were Auixuslus Kountze. TTernum Kountze, Edward 


Creighton, W. H. S. Haighes and Louis J. Euth. The capital stock at the organiza- 
tion of the bank was $50,000. This amoimt has been increased from time to 
time, as follows: January 19, 1865, to $65,000; October 13, 1865, to $100,000; 
June 19, 1869, to $200,000. May 6, 1864, Augustus Kountze was elected as vice 
president of the bank, there having been no sucb officer elected prior to that time. 
He remained in this position until February 14, 1865, when Alvin Saunders was 
elected vice president and Kountze became cashier. January 12, 1869, Herman 
Kountze was elected vice president, and TT. W. Yates, assistant ca.shier. July 8, 
1874, Mr. Yates was elected cashier, and Augustus Kountze, second vice president. 
Herman Kountze was elected president, January 12, 1875, and Augustus Kountze, 
vice president, at the same time. F. H. Davis became assistant cashier, January 
9, 1877. The present board of directors are Herman Kountze, Augustus Kountze, 
John A. Creighton, A. J. Poppleton and F. H. Davis. On March 1, 1882, Mr. 
Yates retired from the bank and F. H. Davis succeeded him as cashier. 

For the first twenty days in October, 1866, the average business transactions 
per day amounted to $14,432.18, including the cash on hand. The average daily 
transactions for a corresponding period in October, 1881, were $811,108.11, includ- 
ing also the cash on hand. Exclusive of cash on hand, in October, 1866, the average 
daily transactions were $5,905.76, and in October, 1881, $529,569.20. The first 
board of directors were Ezra Millard, S. S. Caldwell, Joseph N". Field, J. D. Brown, 
E. A. Brown, Thomas Martin and A. J. Simpson. The present board of directors are 
Ezra Millard, J. H. Millard, J. J. Brown, A. J. Simpson and William Wallace. 
The bank has at present a surplus capital of $100,000. In 1877 the bank retired 
one-half of its $180,000 circulation, leaving $90,000 outstanding. 

The State Bank of Xebraska was organized and commenced business June 1, 
1870. The board of directors were Alvin Saunders, Enos Lowe, Samuel E. Eogers, 
A. D. Jones, Jonas Gise, John E. Porter, J. Weightman, C. H. Downs and J. A. 
Horbach. The capital stock is $100,000, one-half of which was paid in and the 
remainder paid from the profits. This was the first state bank organized in 
Xebraska, as well as the first instituted under the amended banking law of the 
state, which permitted them to receive deposits in excess of two-thirds of the capital 
stock. Alvin Saunders was its first president, J. E. Porter, vice president, and B. B. 
Wood, cashier. June 5, 1876, Mr. Saunders retired from the presidency of the 
bank, and Frank Murphy was elected to succeed him. In 1871, Enos Lowe was 
elected vice president of the bank; he was succeeded by Samuel E. Eogers, June 
5, 1876. July 15, 1874, Luther Drake became assistant cashier. 

The Nebraska Xational Bank was opened in April, 1882, with a paid-up capital 
of $25,000, and the following directors: S. E. Johnson, A. E. Touzalin, W. Y. 
Morse, John S. Collins, James M. Woolworth, Lewis S. Eeed and Henry W. 

The United States Xational Bank, through succession to Barrows, :\lillard & 
Co., and Millard, Caldwell & Co., the oldest bank in the State of Xebraska, after 
almost forty years as a national bank has become one of the two largest Omaha 
banks. Charles W. Hamilton, S. S. Caldwell, Milton T. Barlow and Y. B. Cald- 
well have been the men to whom the credit for the success of this institution mainly 
reflects. The record of Ex-Senator Joseph H. Millard of over half a century 
service with the Omaha Xational Bank has been one of the landmarks of American 

272 IIIS|()1;Y of XKI',RASKA 

banking. The First Xational Bank has continued to be one of the larger institutions 
of Omaha, with F. H. Davis in more recent years serving as president. 

In 1882 the old firm of J. A. Ware & Company was reorganized and came 
out as the Merchants National. The service of H. W. Yates as cashier and president 
of the Nebraska National Bank is another landmark record in Nebraska banking 
annals. Newer banks in Omaha, were the City National, which operated for a 
decade or more prior to its purchase by the younger State Bank of Omaha, 
organized in 1912 ; the Corn Exchange National Bank, 1909, and the Central State, 
and Commercial State, organized in 1916. South Omaha has the very strong 
South Omaha Savings Bank, 1888; Packers National Bank, 1890; Live Stock 
National Bank, 1907; Stock Yards National Bank, organized under its present 
name in 1911 and succeeding to the old Union Stock Yards National. The 
service of H. C. Bostwick, as president of this bank is another of the credit marks 
of the Nebraska banking profession. The Security State in 1914 is the junior 
bank down there. Omaha has had a long list of defunct banks, in between the two 
extremes pictured in this review, of the struggling pioneer banks and the solidly 
established financial bulwarks of today. 

Lincoln. The pioneer establishment was that of James Sweet & Brock, dating 
from 1868. It was built in the southwest comer of the Sweet block, the first 
block built on the plat of Lincoln. In 1871 it was reorganized into the State 
Bank of Nebraska. Nelson C. Brock, of this firm, died in Lincoln in March, 1921. 

The First National Bank of Lincoln received its charter to do business on 
February 24, 1871. It was the successor of a private bank founded by Judge 
Amasa Cobb and J. F. Sudduth, president and cashier. In 1874, John Fitzgerald 
became president and John E. Clark, cashier. In 1889 a consolidation was 
effected with the American Exchange National Bank, when S. H. Burnham became 
president. It later took in the Columbia National. Now with the First Sav- 
ings Bank and First Tmst Company, this concern is one of the strongest of 
Nebraska. Lincoln has had many banks come and go since the old First National 
started in. Banlvs which are no longer on the active list are: State National, 
1872; Lincoln National, 1882, consolidated in 1892 into First National; Marsh 
Brothers & Mosher banking house was a leading factor in the defalcation of Joseph 
Bartley, state-treasurer, and the president of this institution landed in the Federal 
Penitentiary as a cure for his style of banking; Lancaster County Bank, 1877; 
Union Savings Bank, 1886; Nebraska Savings, 1886; German National, 1886; 
Industrial Savings, 1891. On the other hand, another group of banks have started 
in Lincoln that are splendid institutions. The City National began in 1899; 
National I'.niik (if Commeree. in 1903: ('riitrnl Xational in inriT; Nebraska State 
Bank, 1911: (•(Uitincntal State, fdninM-ly (nTiiian-Anii-i'ican. llM)'.i : Lincoln State, 
.191.3. and American State, 1917. 

Bcatricp. Smith Brothers Bank commenced business in September, 1ST2, in a 
small way. Their successor, the First National Bank, was chartered and com- 
menced business in April, 1877. TTon. A. S. Paddock was dircctur in tliis hank. 
The Gage County Bank, organized in issi. was an outgrowth of tlie private bank- 
ing business of William Lamb, opened August 1, 1879. 

Blair. The private banking business of A. Castetter was opened in 1869. 
Francis M. Castetter, a son, was manager after 1890, and after his father's death, 
also president. F. 11. Claridgc has Ix'cn president of this bank in recent years, and 


continued in charge until the sensational failure of this institution in Februarj-, 
1921, in probably the most stupendous bank failure in many years of Nebraska 
banking history. 

Brownville. The first bank at Brownville has already been spoken of. S. H. 
Eiddle was president and Alexander Hallam cashier. This bank, connected with 
the Nemaha Valley issue, went down in the storm of 1857. B. F. Lushbaugh 
and John L. Carson established a private banking house, as Lushbaugh & Carson, 
January 14, 1857, and this withstood the storms of territorial finance until August 
38, 1871, it was succeeded by the newly organized First National Bank of Brown- 
ville, of which John L. Carson was the first president. The State Bank of 
Brownville was organized under state law, October 1, 1870. 

Cohimbus. In July, 1871, Leander Gerrard and Julius A. Eeed opened a 
bank on the north side of town. In May, 1874, Abner Turner and Geo. W. 
Hulst opened another on the south side. The two banks organized under the name 
of Columbus State Bank July 28, 1875. The next bank in Columbus was a private 
bank of Anderson & Eeen in 1880. 

Crete. The State Bank of Nebraska was organized in Crete in 1872, with 
Colonel Doane, John Fitzgerald and John R. Clark as incorporators. This was 
the first bank organized in Saline County, and its first competitor in Crete was 
in 1879, when the banking company composed of John L. Tidball and AValter Scott 
started in, and this institution became the Citizens Bank in 1881. The Saline 
County Bank was organized at Wilber in March, 1878 ; the Blue Valley Bank 
there in 1881. 

Fairbury. Thomas Harbine's Bank started in 1874 and was the first and in 
fact the only bank in Jefferson County for some time. 

Fremont. E. H. Eogers & Co. established a private bank in July, 1867. 
In April, 1872, the First National Bank was formed with Theron Xye as president, 
and E. H. Eogers as cashier. Hopkins & Millard's bank, originally Wilson & 
Hopkins, starting in 1871, eventually became the Fremont National. George W. 
E. Dorsey's bank began in December, 1879, and Eichard & Iveene's private Ijank 
(L. D. Eichards and L. M. Keene) opened in 1882. 

Grand Island. The pioneer financial institution of Hall County was the old 
State Central Bank organized in 1871 by Henry A. Koenig, later state treasurer. 
The Citizens National started in 1887 and the Security National in 1889. 
These three banks all went under during the trying times of the '90s 
But the Grand Island National, an outgrowth of the Grand Island Banking Com- 
pany, organized in 1879, and the First National, organized as such in 1882, from 
the private bank of C. F. Bentley, started in 1880, have remained and grown dur- 
ing the forty years elapsing. 

Kearney. The oldest bank in Kearney was that of L. E. More, established in 
1873. The Buffalo County Bank was organized in 1879 to take the place of its 
predecessor, the Kearney Bank, which failed that year. 

Madison. Barnes-Tyrrell, bankers, opened in 1871. F. AV. Barnes of this 
firm was a pioneer of Madison, as he laid out the town in 1870. 

Norfolk. J. and C. P. Mathewson opened a bank in 1872 in a small frame 
building. In 1878 C. P. Mathew.son became sole proprietor of that business, and 
this institution later became the Norfolk National Bank. The next banks to start 

274 lllSiCI.'V OF NKl'.K'ASKA 

were the Norfolk Bank, opened by Burrows iV Egbert, Jamiarv is. IS.s-^, ami the 
Xdifnlk I'ltv Bank, opened February 15, 1SS2, by I. P. Donaldson ^r Co. 

Pawnee City. The State Bank of Nebraska was established July x?U, 1872. It 
was reorganized later as the Fanners State Bank, and still later as the First 
National Bank. But as the immediate successor of the Farmers State Bank in 
1881, the private banking house. of Joy, Ecknian & David came in. 

Plattsmouth. The iirst bank in Plattsnioutli was that of Tootle & Ilanna, 
opened in 1859 ; John E. Clark became a partner in 1866, and the firm remained 
Tootle, Hanna & Clark until 1872, when the First National Bank was organized, 
with John E. Fitzgerald as president, C. H. Parmalee vice president, John E. 
Clark cashier, E. G. Dovey and E. 6. Gushing and others as directors. This list 
presents names very prominent in banking and commercial circles in Nebraska. 

Schuyler. F. E. Frye & Co., the first Ijankers here, could not survive the 
storm of 1873. In March, 1874, Sumner, Smith & Co. estaldished a bank. In 
1881 it became the Farmers Bank. 

Tecumseh. The first banks in Tecumseh were the private house of Eussell, 
Holmes & Co. (W. H. Eussell and C. A. Holmes), established in 1871 and about 
twenty years later becoming the Tecumseh National Bank, and the Farmers Bank, 
started in 1880. 

West Pniiif. Bruner's Bank was organized in 1871, by Bruner, Neligh & 
Kipp. Ill 1S72 it became Bruner & Kipp. and in 1874 became Uriah Bruner's 
Bank. The next hank was the Elkhorn Valley Bank established in 1875. 

Tori-. William ^IcWhister founded a liank in 1875 which became the Com- 
mercial Stiite Bank after Sayre & Atkins had operated it a short time. The First 
Natiiinal of York was incor]>orated July 1, 1882. 


One of the i>eculiarly characteristic achievements of Nebraska's financial history 
is the part played in her upbuilding by the many building and loan associations 
organized in the state under the peculiarly encouraging and favorable laws adopted 
for the purpose of aiding in home building. Hon. Charles F. Bentley of Grand 
Island, Neb., served in 1!H)7 as jiresident of the National Association of Building 
and Loan Companies, and with other Nebraska financiers early saw the need of 
protecting the small borrower and investor from the greed and unsafe methods 
of many .so-called national concerns that had sprung up around the country. 

Secretary Hart of the state department of trade and commerce is distributing 
the annual report of the building and loan associations of the state. The pamphlet 
contains a statement of the condition of each of the seventy-four associations in the 
state, together with a summary of the combined report. Mr. Hart speaks in 
high terms of their management. 

Tlie first building and loan associations in the state were fostered under a law 
pa.ssed in the early history of the state, and for the last twenty-eight years they 
have remained rather constant in number. There are now seventy-four, whereas 
in 1892 there were seventy-one. The largest number was eighty-six, in IS!) I, and 
the lowest was in 1902, when it was forty-eight. 

The growth in total assets, however, has been tremendous, nearly twenty-six times 
as iDiicli as in 1S92, when ihev were tlircc millions. During the last vear the increase 


was twelve millious. Two were granted certiticates dui'iiiL;' tlie yrar, the Home at 
Fairbury and the Globe at Columbus. The number of shares has liscn from 45,000 
in 1892 to 1,917,000 at the present time. 

Associations are now located in the following towns and cities : Albion, Alliance, 
Auburn, Aurora, Beatrice (3), Blair, Bloomfield, Cambridge, Central City, Clay 
Center, Columbus (3), Crete, David City, Fairbury (2), Falls City, Fremont (2), 
Grand Island, Hartington, Hastings, Havelock, Holdrege, Hooper, Humboldt, 
Kearney, Laurel, Lincoln (9), Madison, McCook, Nebraska City, Nelson, Newman 
Grove (2), Norfolk (2), North Loup, North Platte, Omaha (9), Ord, Platts- 
mouth (2), Seward, Sidney, Superior, Tecumseh, Trenton, L^niversity Place, Val- 
entine, Wahoo, Wilber, Wood River, Wymore, York. 

The nine Lincoln associations have assets totaling annind twelve million dol- 
lars, while the nine in Omaha have assets of about fifty millions. Those with more 
than a million assets in the state are the State of Beatrice, with $3,023,000; the 
Nebraska State of Fremont, with nearly three millions; the Equitable of Grand 
Island, with $1,230,000; the Nebraska Central of Lincoln, with $5,512,000; the 
Union of Lincoln, with $1,422,000; the Norfolk, with $1,239,000; the Mutual of 
North Platte, with $1,329,000 ; the Bankers of Omaha, with $1,032,000 ; the Com- 
mercial of Omaha, $1,302,000; the Conservative of Omaha, with $17,259,000; the 
Nebraska of Omaha, with $1,749,000; the Occidental of Omaha, with $9,013,000; 
the Omaha, with $16,943,000. Outside of Lincoln and Omaha the total assets are 
fifteen millions. 

Secretary Hart says: "This report shows that practically the same prosperity 
shown in the 1919 report has continued throughout the year just closed and the 
increases in receipts and expenditures have again shown a 25 per cent gain and 
the total assets and liabilities have increased 18 per cent or $12,171,277.84. 

"Loans are negotiated only on real estate security or assignment of installment 
certificates of stock and then only for a conservative margin of the appraised value. 
This report shows that the loans on real estate averages 48 per cent of the appraised 
value of the security compared with 53 per cent in 1919. With the return of normal 
building conditions and the urgent housing conditions now existing, the future 
activities of these associations will no doubt show greater activity than heretofore. 
Nebraska is justified in her feeling of pride in being the home of some of the 
largest and most efficiently managed associations in existence anywhere." 

Eeceipts for the year included twenty-five millions of dues paid; ten mil- 
lions of stock paid up; mortgage payments of sixteen millions; a million and a 
half of stock loan payments and over four millions interest payments. The total 
receipts were $74,741,388.36. Over thirty-one million was invested in mortgage 
loans; withdrawals totaled twenty-five millions: salai-ies and commissions, $645,000; 
Liberty Bonds, $911,000. 






This chapter can very appro])riately be opened with a historical survey of the 
State Supreme Court, the highest unit in the state's judicial and legal system. 
Then a review of the district bench and finally a brief review of the character 
and make-up of the practicing bar of the state. 


When the state was fii'st formed, its Suprenu' Court consisted of three judges, 
who also performed the fum-tions of district judges until 1S75. In doing this they 
traveled thousands of miles annually in the days when railroad trains were few 
and horseback or buckboard were the means of conveyance to most of the county 
seats. In fifty-three years of its existence, the Nebraska State Supreme Court has 
had but twenty-six members. Seven of these are serving at the present time. But 
three of the nineteen ex-judges are living at this time, all in Nebraska ; Fawcett is 
practicing in Lincoln; Sullivan at Omaha and Nerval at Seward. 

Of the sixteen deceased ex-justices all were residents of Nebraska at the tiuu' 
of their death, Holeomb being the only one who ever left the state even for a 
time to live, and he was in Washington State at his daughter's. Although no 
native son, until the latest member. Judge L. A. Flansburg, was ever elevated 
to her high bench, six or seven of her judges were first admitted to practice in the 
court of Nebraska, several others practiced less than one year in some other state 
before locating in Nebraska, and only three or four of the twenty-six judges were 
past thirty years of age when they came to Nebraska. Not only have her jurists 
been essentially Nebraskaii in thrir legal careers, but every member except one was 
born in the United States and he came to Nebraska in boyhood. New York was 
the native state of Nebraska"? fii-st tlircc judges, George B. Lake, Oliver P. Mason 
and Lorenzo Crounse; her justice of longest service, Samuel Maxwell, and her 
present chief justice, Andrew M. Morrissey. Illinois was the birthplace of six 
justices: T. L. Nerval (is;)0-1902), Manoah B. Reese (served 1884-1890 and 
1908-1915), Saiinirl II. S.MJgwi.k (1903-1909 and 1911-1920), John J. Sullivan 
(1898-1904, and 1;his (,<v uur il-.iy when he resigned). Jesse L. Root (1908-1912), 
and Cliester If. Aldvirh (|urs,.|it incmlHT since 1918). From Pennsylvania hailed 
Judges Daniel (imitt ( l,S7:i- 1 s:s. d,,.,! in Mvr). A. M. Post ( ls:i-M,s;i,s). W. ]>,. 


Rose (member since 1908), and C!onrad Hollenbeek (1915). From Ohio came 
Judges T. 0. C. Harrison (1894-1900), John B. Barnes (1904-1917), and Francis 
G. Hamer (1912-1918). Indiana furnished Justices Amasa Cobb (1878-1892) and 
Silas A. Holcomb (1900-1906) ; Wisconsin, Justice Jacob Fawcett, (1908-1917); 
Iowa, Judges A. J. Cornish (1917-1920) and George A. Day (member in 1920), 
and Missouri, Judge Dean (1908-1910 and 1917 to date) and Judge Flansburg, 
member in 1920 born at Alma, Nebraska, while Judge Letton (1903 to date) first 
saw the light in the heathered hills of Scotland. 

Judge Wm. A. Little was elected in 1866 hut died before he (|ualified. Of 
Nebraska's first five judges, Lake, Crounse, Mason, Gantt and Maxwell, all had 
served as members of territorial legislatures, and all except Gantt in from one to 
three constitutional conventions, so it may truly be said of those founders of this 
court that they not only founded Nebraska's jurisprudence, but also assisted in 
laying the foundation of the state, in both enacting and administering her laws. 
Judge Crounse was only thirty-two years of age when placed on this bench, and 
later he served as assistant secretary of the treasury under President Harrison, 
and as governor of the state in 1892-1893. Two other judges have served as gover- 
nor of the state, Silas A. Holcomb, who also served in his declining years as member 
of the State Board of Control until his death, and Chester H. Aldrich, a present 
member of the court. Judge Lake served sixteen years on the court ; Cobb, four- 
teen and Maxwell, the longest term of twenty-two years. He also served in 
Congress later, and was the author of several works on practice, still standard 
with the Nebraska Bar. Judge Reese was the first chief justice after the rotation, 
every two years changing, was abolished, and Judge Hollenbeek the first member 
elected on the nonpartisan ticket. Those judges who died while in office as mem- 
bers of the court have been, Gantt, Hollenbeek, Hamer, Sedgwick and Cornish. 
The present members are Andrew M. Morrissey (formerly of Valentine), chief 
justice, who was re-elected in 1920 to serve until 1927; Charles B. Letton, formerly 
of Fairbury, term expires 1925 ; William B. Rose, Lincoln, 1925 ; James R. Dean, 
Broken Bow, 1923; Chester H. Aldrich, formerly of David City, 1925; George A. 
Day, Omaha, 1923, and Leonard A. Flansburg, Lincoln, 1923. 

At three periods in its history the Supreme Court has had a Supreme Court 
commission, and many of these commissioners have, since their service to this court, 
attained notable records in other fields. The first commission, which served from 
1893 to 1899, were Robert Ryan, John M. Ragan and Frank Irvine, who later 
became a member of the New York Public Utilities Commission; on the second 
commission, from 1901 to 1902, George A. Day, for seventeen years district judge 
in Douglas County and now a member of the Supreme Court; Samuel H. Sedg- 
wick, for fifteen years a member of this court, and Roscoe Pound, dean of Har- 
vard Law School ; from 1902 to 1903, Charles S. Lohingier, now of the TJ. S. Court 
of China, and John B. Barnes, who w-ent onto the court in 1904, and Charles B. 
Letton, 1902 to 1906, who also went onto the court: 1901 to 1904, William G. 
Hastings, for past ten years dean of the University of Nebraska Law School, 
John S. Kirkpatriek, now of Kansas City, Mo., and I. L. Albert of Columbus; 
1901 to 1906, Willis D. Oldham, of Kearney; 1901 to 1907, John H. Ames; 1901 
to 1909, Edward Duffie; 1904 to 1906, Jacob Fawcett, later on the court; 1905 
to 1909, N. D. Jackson; 1906 to 1909, Ambrose C. Epperson of Clay Center; 
1907 to 1909, Edward E. Good and Elisha C Calkins: and 1908 to 1909, Jesse L. 


Koot ; and on the third coiiuiiissidii, from 11115 to lUlU, Williain C. Parriott of 
Auburn, hitely of War De])artnK'iit Court in Wasiiington, I). ('., Fred O. Me(;irr, of 
Beatrice, and ex-Atty.-Geu. Grant G. Martin; and from 1919 to date, Leonard A. 
Flansburg, who succeeded Judge Cornish on the court, George W. Tibbetts of 
Hastings, and Judge W. C. Dorsey of Bloomington, and succeeding Judge Flans- 
burg in llVv^O, W. M. Cain of Fremont. 


The Bar ot Nebraska ]iresents so many worthy names that to compile a 
liistdiy iif the iubicM'meiits cit' tile lawyei's of this state the compiler would really 

The roster of United States senators, congressmen and state officials already 
given in this work presents the names of many great lawyers of Nebraska, who 
after they had strug«E;led years to build up a practice that would yield a com- 
petence and educate their growing families, or care for loved ones, if they had 
never married, were willing to undertake public service at the low rates of com- 
pensation which this state could afford through the pioneering days and the hard 
times of the nineties. It is only with the new constitution of 1920 that Nebraska 
has reached the point where she felt equal to paying public salaries in keeping with 
the public service she has received in the past and will continue to receive in the 
future from the class of citizens her electorate can choose its officers from. 

thp: district bexcii of Nebraska 

While there is great honor to the exalted task of judge of the Supreme Court, 
it must be remembered it is no small undertaking to call upon any man to sit in 
judgment upon his neighbors, fellow citizens of communities where he has been 
acquainted for many years, to listen to the pleas of lawyers with whom he has 
practiced, in many instances, since his advent at the bar with his treasured sheepskin, 
and pass upon the rights of former clients or business associates. The review of 
the Supreme Court shows that a goodly number of Nebraska's district judges have 
been elevated to her supreme bench, and more would be if there were room. The 
Constitutional Convention of 1920 has recognized the ability of the regular trial 
judge to undertake even the functions of the higher court, and adopting the system 
of the federal bench, has provided that hereafter the chief justice of the Supreme 
Court may call upon the district judges to sit in the review of cases and assist 
the Supreme Court in its work. 

Until 187a the trial of cases in the district courts was carried on by the mem- 
bers of the Supreme Court, so the roster of district judges until that date coincides 
with the list of supreme judges. 

In IS?,-) the state was divided into six disti'icts. and tiic first set of district judges 
elected ucn<. acconling to the .listvicts. 1. A. .1. Weaver. Falls City; 2. Stephen B. 
round, i.iiudin; :;. J. AV. Savage. Oiiialia ; 1. George W. I'ost. York: 5. William 
Gaslin, Jr., Kearney; fi. 'i'iuimas L. Gritfey. Dakota County, whose election was 
successfully contested by E. K. Valentine, who was elected to Congress in 1878 
and succeeded by John B. Bariu's. of Bouca. These six continued by reelection in 
1S79. exceiit A.M. Post of Columbus succeeded lii< brother. Jnd-v Post of York. 


Six judges ajDpoiuted for new districts were: new 5th district, William H. Morris, 
Crete; 6th, T. L. Norval, Seward; 9th, Fayette B. Tiffany, Albion; 10th, Samuel 
L. Savidge, Kearney; Eleazer Wakeley and James Xeville, addition in Omaha. 
Samuel P. Davidson of Tecumseh took the place of Judge Pound, elected to Con- 
gress in 1882. In the next four years, two sets of changes were made and the num- 
ber of judges brought to twenty-three in twelve districts. Those elected in 1883 
were: 1. J. H. Broady, Beatrice; Thos. Appelget, Tecumseh; 2d, S. B. Pound, 
Lincoln; M. L. Hayward; Nebraska City; J. L. Mitchell of Xebraska City appointed 
in 1885, and S. M. Chapman of Plattsmouth elected in 1886 and also Allen W. 
Field of Lincoln; 3d, E. Wakeley and James Neville re-elected; L. A. Groff, 
appointed, 1887, and M. E. Hopewell, Tekamah, appointed 1887; 4th, A. M. Post, 
Columbus, and Wm. Marshall, appointed 1887; 5th, Morris; 6th, Xorval; 8th, 
Gaslin; 9th, Tiffany, re-elected. In the 7th, J. C. Crawford of West Point and 
Isaac Powers, Jr., of Norfolk, appointed in 1887 ; T. 0. C. Harrison, Grand Island, 
appointed 1887; 10th district, Francis G. Hamer, Kearney; 11th, J. E. Cochran, 
McCook, and 12th, M. P. Kinkaid, O'Neill, appointed 1887. The election of 
1887 brought only three new judges to the district bench, George W. Doane and 
Joseph R. Clarkson, of Omaha; W. F. Norris of Ponca in the Sixth, vice Judge 
Crawford; and A. H. Church appointed to second seat in 10th district in 1889. 
In 1891 the state was divided into fifteen judicial districts with twenty-eight 
judges, and several new judges were appointed : Charles L. Hall and A. S. Tibbetts, 
of Lincoln in the second; H. J. Davis, Lee S. Estelle, A. N. Ferguson, and 
Frank Irvine in the third district ; Edward Bates of York, and Matt Miller of 
David City in the new 5th; E. M. Coffin of Ord in the new 11th, and A. W. 
Crites of Chadron in the 15th. 

Before proceeding further it would not be inappropriate to review this list and 
recount the later achievements of some of these pioneer 'trial judges of the state. 
Some of them were commissioned to go to Washington and represent Nebraska in 
the halls of Congress; nobably Judges Weaver, Valentine, and Kinkaid. Others 
were elevated to the supreme bench : Judges A. M. Post, T. L. Norval, T. 0. C. 
Harrison, Francis G. Hamer; and Frank Irvine to the commission. 

The election of 1891 continued Judges Chapman, Tibbetts, Hopewell, Ferguson, 
Davis, Bates, Norris, Harrison and Kinkaid. It brought onto the district bench 
the following judges, a list from which were to spring a number of men destined to 
achieve even greater honors: 1st, H. A. Babcock and J. E. Bush of Beatrice; 3d, 
Jesse B. Strode, elected to Congress in 1894; Charles L. Hall, Lincoln: A. S. Tib- 
betts, Lincoln, and Ed. P. Holmes, Lincoln; 4th, W. C. Walton of Bhiir and from 
Omaha, Chas. Ogden, W. W. Keysor, B. C. Scott, G. W., J. H. Blair and 
E. R. Diffie; 5th, Robert Wheeler of Osceola; 6th, J. J. Sullivan of Columbus; 
7th, W. G. Hastings, of Wilber; 9th, X. D. Jackson of Xeligh, J. S. Robinson of 
Madison; 10th, F. B. Beall, Alma; 11th, John R. Thompson of Grand Island : 12tli, 
Silas A. Holcomb of Broken Bow; 13th, William Neville, North Platte, and 
H. M. Sinclair of Kearney; 14th, D. T. Welty of Cambridge, and loth, Alfred 
Bartow of Chadron. The election of 1895 brought to the district bench, 1st, 
C. B. Letton of Fairbury and J. S. Stull, Auburn; 2d, B. S. Ramsey, Platts- 
mouth; 3d, A. J. Cornish of Lincoln, who remained on the district bench for 
twenty-one years when he was elevated to the supreme bench where he remained 
until his death in 1920. Lincoln Frost of Lincoln was elected in 1897. In Omaha 


new jiKl,a-es were ]<,. S. Baker, Chas. T. Dickinson, Jacob Fawcett. Clinton X. 
Powell and \V. \V. Slabaugli. 5th, S. H. Sedgwick of York; Gtii district, 
in the following four years, I. L. Albert, Columbus, James A. Grimison of 
Schuyler and Conrad Hollenbeck of Fremont served short periods. Judge Hol- 
lenbeek remained on the district bench twenty-one years, when he was elected chief 
justice of the Supreme Court and died two weeks after taking the office. 8th, 
R. B. Evans of Dakota City and W. V. Allen of Madison, who when elected to the 
United States Senate was succeeded by Douglas Cones: 11 tb. .\. A. Kendall, 
St. Paul; 12th, H. M. Sullivan of Broken Bow and W. A. Greene of Kearney: 13th, 
H. M. Grimes of Xorth Platte, who in 1920 was elected to a seventh four yeai* 
term ; 14th, G. W. Norris, Beaver City, later of McCook, and in the loth, Wil- 
liam II. Westover of Rushville, who in 1920 was also elected to a seventh four-year 
term. The four year periixl following the election of 1899 brought a few new 
members to the district bench: 2d district, Paul Jessen, Nebraska City; 4th, Irving 
F. Baxter of Omaha and Lee S. Estelle returned to -the bench where he remained 
until his death in 1920, vice Judges Scott and Powell: George A. Day, now a 
member of the Supreme Court, where he was appointed after seventeen years of 
service on the district bench of Douglas County came on in 1902 as did Guy R. C. 
Read. In other districts judges who came on in 1899 election were: 5. B. F. Good 
of Wahoo and S. H. Sornberger of York; 7th, C. W. Stubbs of Superior; 8th, 
Guy T. Graves of Pender, who is still serving and was re-elected to another term 
in 1920; 9th, J. F. Boyd of Oakdale elected November 6, 1900, to fill vacancy; 
10th, E. B. Adams of Minden came on by election of 1899, as did, in 11th, C. A. 
Munn of Ord and James X. Paul of St. Paul, who remained for sixteen years 
on the bench; 12th, Charles B. Gutterson of Broken Bow succeeded H. M. Sulli- 
van ; R. C. Orr of Hayes Center served with Judge Norris in the 14th, and J. J. 
Harrington of O'Neill came on for twelve years' service in the old 15th di-strict. 
The election of 1903 and the four ensuing years brought a few changes. In the 
first district A. H. Balicock of Beatrice and W. H. Kelligar of Auburn succeeded 
Judges Letton and Stull. Judge Letton went onto the Supreme Court commis- 
sion and then onto the supreme bench, where in 1920 he is still serving. 
Judge John B. Paper of Pawnee City was elected in 1906 to fill vacancy, and has 
been serving continuously since and in 1920 was re-elected for another term of 
four years. In the 3d AVillis G. Sears of Tekamah and A. ('. Troup came on and 
in 1920 are still serving, and reelected for further service: William A. Redick of 
Omaha came on and has served ever since except two years; A. L. Sutton of Omaha 
came on and stayed until he resigned to run for governor in IDUJ. and Howard 
Kennedy, Jr., remained until he resigned to accept a seat (in the New Board of 
Control of Public Institutions. In the 5th Arthur J. Evans of David City came 
on for four years; (ith, Jas. G. Reeder of Columbus; 'Zth, Leslie G. Hurd of 
Harvard, who served until 1917; 9th. with Judge Boyd came Anson A. Welch 
of Wayne, wlio in 11)20 is still serving and rc-elect-'d lor further service: 10th, 
(;. !.. Adams of Minden l\.r four years: and U< sit with Judge Paul ..f the Uth, 
James \i. Ilaiina nC Greeley, who remained on the bench in this district until 
Ins death >c\cn(ccn years later, in June, 1920; and on the 12th Judge B. 0. 
Hosteller nl Kearney, who after serving seventeen years, was re-elected in 1920 


The election of 1907 brought a very few changes in the membership of the 
state's .district bench. L. M. Pemberton of Beatrice came on in the first to serve 
until January, 1921; 2d, Harvey D. Travis of Plattsmouth, who remained until 
his death in 191-1; in the third. Judge Willard E. Stewart, who is still serving and 
was in 1920 re-elected, and who succeeded Judge Holmes; iii the fourth the per- 
sonnel rciiiiiined. Day, Estelle, Kennedy, Redick, Sears, Sutton and Trou|): in 
the liftli. with Judge Good sat George F. Corcoran, who in 1920 was re-eleeti'd for 
another term; in the sixth, Judge Holleubeck's working mate became George II. 
Thomas of Schuyler, and later Columbus, who remained on the bench until ill 
health in 1920 forced his resignation: in the tenth. Judge Harry S. Dungan of 
Hastings came mi, Ui I'cuiaiii until 1!121, having niaile the race for Congress in 
1920 against the enurnious rc]jublican huidslide. In 1911 in the new 16th district, 
Ralph W. Hobart of ^Mitchell was appointed, and he is still serving, but in what 
is now the 17th district, and in 1920 was re-elected without opposition. 

The election of 1911 brought few changes. County Judge P. James Cosgrove 
in Lincoln displacing Judge Frost; County Judge Charles Leslie in Omaha dis- 
placing Judge Eedick; E. E. Good in the Fifth still serving in 1920; in the 
fourteenth Ernest B. Pen-y of Cambridge coming on, to remain until his resigna- 
tion in 1919 ; in the 15th R. R. Dickson displacing Judge Harrington. Adding 
the 17th and 18th distric-t placed Judge Hobart and Judge Pemberton into 
those districts. 

In the following five year periods Governors John H. ilorehead and Keith 
Xeville had the opportunity to appoint several district judges, namely: James 
T. Begley in the second ; vice Judge Travis, ' deceased ; Judge Fred 
Shepherd in 1916 won the seat of Judge Cornish, elected to supreme bench, 
and Judge Leonard A. Flansburg to succeed Judge Cosgrove, who became Judge 
Advocate in the Army ; James P. English (of Omaha, vice Judge Kennedy, 
resigned, and upon Judge English's death Arthur C. Wakeley of Omaha, son of 
Eleazer Wakeley of territorial and early statehood days; William A. Eedick went 
back on the bench vice Judge Sutton resigned ; F. W. Button of Fremont vice 
Judge Hollenbeck, elected chief justice of Supreme Court ; Andrew R. Oleson 
of Wisner, new place created in 9th district. 

The election of 1917 brought on hardly any change in the district bench. In the 
7th district Ralph D. Brown of Crete, vice Judge Hurd, and Bayard H. Paine 
of Grand Island, vice Judge Paul, who did not seek re-election, and ex-U. S. 
Senator William V. Allen of Madison succeeded Judge Oleson in the Ninth. A few 
changes ensued in the succeeding four years; Judge Flansburg of Lincoln was 
elevated to the Supreme Court commission, and Judge Elliot J. Clements appointed 
in his place ; Judge William C. Dorsey of Bloomington, who had been appointed to 
a new place in the tenth district and William M. Morning to a new seat in Lan- 
caster County. Judge Dorsey was also elevated to the Supreme Court commission 
and W. A. Dilworth of Holdrege appointed in his place. When Judge Day suc- 
ceeded to Judge Sedgwick's seat, upon the latter's death, Charles A. Goss of 
Omaha was appointed by Governor McKelvie; Judge A. M. Post of Columbus 
was appointed in the sixth vice Judge Thomas, resigned ; C. E. Eldred, McCook, vice 
Judge Perry, resigned, and Judge Edwin P. Clements of Ord in the eleventh vice 
Judge Hanna, deceased. The election of 1920 brought about the defeat of 
Judge Goss in Omahn, where James M. Fitzgerald and L. B. Day were elected to 


the seats of Judges Goss and Estelle, who died just before election; and General 
Leonard W. Colby of Beatrice defeated Judge Peniberton. 

So the roster of judges beginning January, 1921, will be: 1. J. B. Raper, 
Pawnee City; 2. J. T. Begley, Papillion; 3. W. E. Stewart; W. M. Morning, 
Fred Shepherd and E. J. Clements of Lincoln; 4. W. G. Sears, Tekamah; A. C. 
Troup, W. A. Redick, Charles Leslie, A. C. Wakeley, J. M. Fitzgerald and L. B. 
Day, Omaha, 5. E. E. Good, Wahoo, and Geo. F. Corcoran, York; 6. F. W. But- 
ton, Fremont; A. M. Post, Columbus; T. R. D. Brown, Crete; 8. Guy T. Graves, 
Pender; 9. A. A. Welch, Wayne; W. Y. Allen, Madison; 10. W. A. Dilworth, 
Holdrege and Lewis H. Blackledge of Red Cloud, elected to Judge Dungan's seat; 
11. Bayard H. Paine, Grand Island, and Edwin P. Clements, Ord; 12. B. 0. 
Hostetler, Kearney; 13. H. M. Grimes, Xorth Platte; 14. C. E. Eldred. McCook; 
15. R. R. Dickson, O'Neill; 16. W. H. Westover, Rushville; IT. R. W. Hobart, 
Gering. and 18. L. W. Colby, Beatrice. 

The old district attorney system from 1868 to 1885, when the law was changed 
to provide for county attorneys in each county, brought into public service over a 
district which allowed their ability to become recognized a group of Nebraska 
lawyers who deserve some mention. Those who served as district attorneys, with 
the number of terms and year of election, were: 1868, 0. B. Hewitt, 2; John C. 
Cowin, Omaha, 2; E. F." Gray, Fremont, 2; 1872, A. J. Weaver, Falls City, 
1 ; William J. Connell, Omaha, 3 ; Melville B. Hoxie, 3 ; 18T4, C. J. Dilworth, 
father of present District Judge Dilworth, also an attorney-general of the state, 
1; 1875, J. W. Filer, Omaha, 1; J. H. Broady, Lincoln, 1; John B. Barnes, 
Ponca, 2; 1876, J. P. Maule, Fairmont, 2; George S. Smith, Plattsmouth, 1; 
E. H. Buckingham of Omaha, succeeded by C. J. Greene of Omaha, 1 ; Manoah B. 
Reese, Wahoo, 3; 1878, John C. Watson, Nebraska City, 2; A. N. Ferguson, 
Omaha, 1 ; T. D. Scofield, Hastings, 1; C. C. McNish, Wisner, 2; 1880, Wm. H. 
Morris, Crete, 1; N. J. Burnham, Nebraska City; V. Bierbower, Sidney, 1. 
The election of 1882 brought in an entirely new set of district attorneys, and also 
the number of districts had been increased from six to seven and later three more 
were added. These were, 1st, Robert W. Sabin, Beatrice; 2d, J. B. Strode, 
Plattsmoutli ; 3d, Park Godwin, Omaha; 4th, Jacob C. Roberts, David City; 
5th, George W. Bemis, Sutton (appointed 1883); 6th, Thomas Darnell, St. Paul; 
7th, Wilbur F. Bryant, Ponca; 8th, W. S. Morlan, Arapahoe, later a prominent 
attorney at MeCook; 9th, E. M. Coffin (appointed 1883), and 10th, J. W. Bix- 
ler. North Platte. Three of these. Strode, Darnall and Morlan remained over the 
last election of 1884, and the seven new ones chosen were: 1st, Daniel F. Osgood, 
Teeumseh; 3d, Lee S. Estelle, Blair: 4th, Wm. Marshall, Fremont; 5th, Manford 
Savage, Hebron; 7th, Guy R. Wilber, St. Helena; 9th, N. D. Jackson, Neligh, 
and 10th, H. if. Sinclair. Plum Creek. 


As said in the first of tliis chapter, a volvimc rather than a chapter is needed 
to do justice to any recital of a record of the leaders of the bar throughout the 
state. But there are a few members of the Nebraska bar with long records of 
service and practice, who have preferred to remain with their faithful clientele 
rather than either go upon the bench or seek other political iirefernu'nt tiiat took 


them away from the practice for any extended period. While no doubt some 
injustice will be unwittingly done in leaving out some most worthy practitioners, in 
mentioning a scattered selection of a few, the compiler, who is himself a lawyer, 
admitted ten years ago, cannot withstand the opportunity of paying tribute to 
some of the leaders of the bars of the various counties in the earlier period of the 
state's formative career. 

Much of the history of any community centers about the laws and the manner 
in which they are enforced. Civil law goes hand in hand with the first step of 
civilization into a new territory. The legislator and lawyer therefore make their 
appearance at the outset. It is not because the compiler, being a lawyer, desires 
to give undue preference to his own chosen profession that more personality and 
names of individuals will appear in the following brief review than in the treat- 
ment of other professions or lines of human activity in IvTebraska, but because 
history is so largely biographical, and he knows not how else to present the history 
of this profession. In treating the press, while he would like to have gone into 
the personal qualifications of editors; in treating the church, talked more of indi- 
vidual ministers; in discoursing on schools, societies and business concerns, given 
more credit to the individuals in charge and who planned and forced their growth, 
the result of the newspaper, the church, the school itself stands out more. But the 
practice and results of a law office depend so much more upon the individual, 
that one cannot speak of the composite attainments of a "Bar" (a group of lawyers 
in a certain county) without speaking of at least the foremost leaders in activity 
and accomplishments. 

In the recent World war, this was emphatically impressed upon the general 
public, when, during the period for preparing and filing questionnaires, almost 
every judge, court reporter, clerk of district court, sheriff, county clerk, from one 
to three doctors in a community and every lawyer, gave some of his time, and 
many devoted from a month to six weeks in December, 1917, and January, 1918, 
to this task, to the neglect of the entire or major portion of their regular business. 
In Nebraska in only one instance has a firm of lawyers been attacked for making 
undue financial charges for this service, and their case is still pending before 
a referee when these lines are written. In most instances no financial remuneration 
was asked or charged for this service. Lawyers, ministers, doctors, bankers, and 
other professional men are asked more than others to participate on the managing 
committee of practically every civil enterprise that comes up in the community, 
be it raising money for the band or church, a Eed Cross or new hotel drive, or 
what, and they feel that there are remunerations about their work other than 
financial, and especial training about the same that imjioses ujion them the duty 
to respond. 


Quite a number of lawyers who practiced in territorial days and in the first 
quarter-century of the state's own history as a state made reputations that spread 
far beyond Xebraska's own borders. 

Omaha — It will only be possible to call a roll of some of the pioneer lawyers 
of Omaha, whose names are yet familiar to the people of tlic liiy. Experience 
Estabrook was United States attorney in 1854, and in ISiin was delegate to 
Congress a short while. His son, Henrv D. Estabrook. became general counsel 

284 IllS'l'OlIY OF XKB1;ASKA 

Tor the Western Union 'I'ele.ui-apli. iiinl just Ijelore his dentil in lOlG was talked 
of as a ean(li(hite tor republican |iresicleiitial ncjmination. Andrew J. Popple- 
ton came jjefore courts were e.stablislied in Nebraska, served in the Legislature 
and as mayor of Omaha, and in 1879 became famous for his participation in the 
famous habeas corpus ease of the Poiica Indians, mentioned elsewhere in tliis 
work. With him in that <-asc was associated a man. .Inhn I,. Webster, who became 
a leader nf the pi'esent geiiei-ation of Nebraska bar and an invaluable contributor 
to the compilation and preservation of Nebraska histoi-v. and who also served as 
president of the 1875 constitutional convention. 

Other great leaders in early Omaha days were Origen I). Richardson, who 
assisted J. S. Sliar]i. A. J. Poppleton and ..(liei's materially in the first revision 
of Nebraska statutes (l,S(i7). He read law with that other legal patriarch. Judge 
George B. Lake. His .son, Lyman D. Eieliardson, was Douglas County's first 
registrar of deeds. Silas A. Strickland had a legislative record and military record 
in the Civil war reaching to a brigaldier-generalship, and service as United 
States district attorney. Clinton Briggs, who had studied with William H. Seward, 
became mayor of Omaha, county judge, legislator, constitutional convention mem- 
ber and candidate for United States senator. William A. Little was elected 
first chief justice of Nebraska Supreme Co\irt, but ill health prevented liis serving 
and he died soon after. James M. Wool worth was first city attorney of Omaha, 
president of American Bar Association, author of a "Handbook on Nebraska" and 
"The Cathedral in America." John I. Eedick served one year as United States 
judge for New Mexico. Among others were: John E. Meredith, associate of 
George W. Doane; George I. Gilbert, partner of Judge Lake at one time; George 
W. Doane, an early judge, whom the compiler remembers seeing often when in 
law college and admiring greatly ; Benjamin E. B. Kennedy ; Charles H. Brown ; 
Champion S. Chase, an early mayor and first state attorney-general; Daniel Gantt, 
an early Supreme Court judge; Jonas Seely; Albert Swartzlander ; Cuming and 
Turk; George H. Eoberts; Charles A. Baldwin; Charles F. Manderson, city attor- 
ney of Omaha, member of eonstitiitional conventions. United States senator, presi- 
dent of American Bar Association ; John M. Thurston, another man who achieved 
the United States senatorship and national fame. 

The seccind geiiei'atiim nf tln' Omaha bar likewise produced an array of great 
leaders. John ('. I'nwin and John L. Webster, who came in 1867 and 1869, in 
the past twenty years have been real leaders. Timothy J. Mahoney, who died in 
1916, was counted by many the greatest pleader of his day before the State Supreme 
Court. AVilliam J. Connell has been a wizard for years in trying cases. Sylvester 
E. Eush and Cnnstantine J. Snivlh have been 'snatched from Omaha by the 
Federal Coverninent. as assi>tant altorncy general and chief justice of District 
of C.luniliia c.uiil-. lien '['. White, Carroll S. ]\rontgomery, Warren Switzler, 
William i;. Kelly. Is.iac K. ( uogdon, Frank S. Howell. Matthew A. Hall, George 
Charles J. Greene and h'alph W. Breckenridge, 
in iiisui-ance law; .Inhn I'. Breen. William F. 
'.aldnge, T. W. Blackburn. Byron (!. Burbank, 
Ivhnuiid (i. Me(;ilton, Frank H. Gaines, l']dson 
(if the older members of the present generation of 
liviiiu^ and practicing, and some of whom have 

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Lincoln — The pioneer lawyer of the county was John S. Gregory, who prac- 
ticed here as early as 1864. The roster in 1876 will include most of the early leaders 
of this bar: John H. Ames, George K. Amory, Newton C. Abbott, L. W. Billingsly, 
Carlos C. Burr, Erastus E. Brown, Lionel C. Burr, Guy A. Brown, Amasa Cobb, 
Paren England, Smith B. Galey, D. G. Hull, X. S. Ilarwood, Robert Knight, 
Walter J. Lanil). G. M; Lambertson, M. Montgomery, Robert E. Moore, T. M. 
Maniuett, James K. Philpot, Rollo 0. Phillips, A. C. Ricketts, Adolphus G. 
Scott, il. II. Sessions, Samuel J. Tuttle, Charles 0. Whedon, Joseph R. Webster, 
Jeir i). Weston, Joseph Hunter and A. J. Sawyer. So far as the compiler knows 
only L. C. Burr, E. E. Moore, A. C. Ricketts, S. J. Tuttle and A. J. Sawyer are 
still living in Lincoln and J. E. Philpot in the western part of the state. 

Hoping to be excused from any charge of discrimination in mentioning the liv- 
ing ,or recently deceased members of the bar, the compiler feels there are a few 
others, whom he has personally known, who should be also entitled to be credited 
with a leading part in moulding the legal course of Lancaster County affairs. 
Geo. A. Adams, John S. Bishop, Elmer J. Burkett, formerly United States senator; 
Henry H. Wilson, almost every Nebraska lawyer's teacher in law school, sometime 
in the past thirty years; T. J. Doyle, C. C. Flansburg, father of present Judge 
Flansburg of the Supreme Court; Allan W. Field, most distinctly a real factor 
in the history of Lancaster County; E. J. Hainer, Frank M. Hall, Frank H. Woods, 
Judge Edw-ard P. Holmes, Don L. Love, former mayor of Lincoln ; E. S. Mockett, 
Judge W. M. Morning, Charles 0. Whedon, W. B. Comstock, A. J. Sawyer, John M. 
Stewart, A. S. Tibbetts, and F. M. Tyrrell. In Adams County: E. D. Babcock, 
John F. Ballinger, Robert A. Batty, James Laird, and Benjamin F. Smith were 
Hastings lawyers of the seventies; George W^. Tibbetts, C. -F. Morey, Phillip H. 
Fuller, J. W. James, F. P. Olstead, W. P. McCreary, J. M. Eagan, J. S. Snider 
and C. E. Higginbotham have been more recent leaders of this bar. 

It will not be possible in the brief space w-e can take at this time to take every 
county. The compiler therefore will hurriedly sketch over the state and give 
honorable mention to a few of the leaders of various local bars, who have been 
particularly prominent in the past quarter-century, now and then touching upon 
some of a more pioneer period. Ainsworth — A. W. Scattergood, W. M. Ely, J. C. 
Tolliver; Albion — James S. Armstrong, Judge F. B. Tiffany in early days, and 
later period, A. E. Garten, 0. M. Xeedham, H. C. Tail and Frank D. Williams; 
Allianct^-William Mitchell, L. A. Berry, B. F. Gihnan, and E. H. Boyd and E. C. 
Barker of the younger bar; Alma — John Everson, J. G. Thompson and 0. E. Shel- 
burn, of the later bar; Auburn — .Tudge W. H. Kelligar, Judge Stull, Supreme 
Court Commissioner W. C. Parriott, John S. McCarty, and E. B. Quackenbush 
of later bar. In very early days at Brownville a coterie of lawyers appeared, 
none of whom were practicing as late as 1880; D. L. McGary, 0. B. Hewett, W. C. 
Johnson, J. D. X. Thompson, II. P. Buxton, S. Belden, R. L. Dodge, J. B. Weston 
and J. S. Bedford. Aurora — Early members of prominence in this bar included 
Thomas Darnall, A. W. Agee, E. J. Hainer, J. H. Smith, W. L. Stark, II. M. 
Kellogg, J. H. Edniundson, F. JM. Coykendall, and later J. H. Grosvornor, C. P. 
Craft, F. A. Bald, IM. F. Stanley, F. E. Edgerton, and C. L. Whitney. Beatrice- 
Jefferson B. Weston was first resident lawyer of Gage County; Charles C. Coffin- 
berry (C. B. E. E.), a very picturesque pioneer attorney; S. B. Harrington, the first 
lawvcr to maintain an office in Beatrice; Xathan K. Griggs. Iliram P. Webb, 


W. H. Ashby. S. C. B. Dean, E. S. Chadwick, Leonard W. Colby, who came 
in 1873 and in 1920 was elected district judge; W. H. Somers, Alfred Hazlett, 
A. J. Hale, Frank N. Prout, Thomas F. Burke, later attorneiy general of 
Wyoming; X. T. Gadd, for many years past a prominent lawyer of Broken Bow, 
Custer County; Menzo Terry, R. S. Bibb, J. E. Cobbey, author of numerous 
Nebraska legal text books and for many years compiler of Nebraska statutes. 
The more recent Gage County bar presents such names as C. L. Brewster, Hugh 
J. Dobbs, Fulton Jack, A. H. Kidd, Ernest 0. Kretsinger, Samuel Riuaker, Robert 
W. Sabin, Harry E. Sackett, and Ex-Supreme Court Commissioner F. 0. McGirr. 
Among younger lawyers are John W. Delehant, F. W. Messmore and Walter 
Vasey. Beaver City — Judge E. B. Perry, John C. Stevens and E. J. Lambe. 
Blair — From Blair have come Lee S. Estelle, Herman Aye, W. ('. Walton. F. S. 
Howell, and Clark O'Haulon, E. B. Carrigan and J. C. Eller are still there. 
Bloomington — From this bar have come Judge W. C. Dorsey and A. H. Byrum. 
Broken Bow — This bar has produced two supreme judges, Silas A. Holeomb, also 
governor, and James R. Dean; District Judges Holeomb, Gutterson and H. M. 
Sullivan; John S. Kirkpatrick of Supreme Court commission; A. R. Humphrey, 
commissioner of public lands and buildings; N. T. Gadd, A. Morgan, E. E. 
Squires and A. P. Johnson ; and has always been a strong bar, and from three 
years' experience practicing at this point, this compiler can attest to the excellence 
of this bar. Burwell — C. I. Bragg, Guy Laverty and E. M. White; Cambridge — 
Judge E. B. Perry; Central City — This bar has sent forth George W. Avers, for 
ten years a mainstay in attorney general's office; John ('. ^Inrtin. J. Patterson 
and sons, E. E. Ross; Chadron — A. AV. Crites and sons anil Allan (i. Fisher liave 
graced this bar; Clay Center — J. L., A. C. and C. H. Epperson have helped 
to build up the Clay County bar; Columbus — A bar with such lawyers as Judge 
John J. Sullivan, Judge George H. Thomas, Judge I. L. Albert, Judge A. M. 
Post, and Judge J. G. Reeder raises requirements that force every lawyer who 
survives in the practice thereat to be a "stemwinder." Crawford — In recent years 

E. M. Slattery and J. E. Porter have particularly shone. Creighton — With Joseph 

F. Green, W. A. Merserve and J. H. Berryman to lead, this bar has been good. 
Crete and Wilber — George H. Plastings. .ludge Brown, at Crete, and formerly W. 

G. Hastings, Bartos Bros., B. V. Kahout and (;niniii .V- Son at WilluT liavc given 
Saline County strong legal .service. David City — This has always liccii a good 
"trial work" bar; with such men as Judge A. J. Evans, Judge (Governor) C. IT. 
Aldrich, L. S. Hastings, Judge Matt Miller, C. M. Skiles, R. C. Roper, A. M. 
Walling, how could it be otherwise? Fairburv — G. S. Merritt. C. B. Slocunib, 
W. H. Snell and M. Warren were very early attorneys liei-e. Later canie Jcilui 
E. Heasty, W. H. Barnes, F. N. Prout, C. H. Denney. W. .1. Mos-. K. 11. llin<haw, 
and John C. Hartigan. Falls City — All the way from Tsham Reavis. father of 
Congressman C. F. Reavis, and Judge A. J. We.iver, fatiier of the president of 
constitutional convention of 1920, down to J. C. ^luUen. the Dorts and other 
arrivals of past decade, this has been a strong bar. F. Fallomi, .Tolm (iagiion. 
R. C. James, A. E. Gantt, J. E. Leyda, A. R. Scott, -1. R. Wilheit nn.l .l,.lin Wiltse 
have all tried to make this so. Fremont — This is a bar which has furnished both 
judicial and literary timber. Judge Marshall, Judge Hollenbeck, and Judge Button 
have proved the first; A. K. Dame has proved the latter, and Frank Dolezal, W. J. 
Courfriidit. S. S. Sidner, Allen Jolmson, George L. Loomis, J. C. Conk. X. IT. 


Mapes, A. H. Briggs, E. F. Gray, A. B. Hinman, Waldo Wintersteen, R. J. 
Stinson, J. E. Daly and F. W. Vaughn have also proved a real "trial" ability for 
this bar. FuUerton — J. H. Kemp, G. N. Anderson, and W. L. Rose have been 
lawyers who gained a standing far beyond Nance County. Geneva — C. H. and 
Frank W. Sloan as well as J. J. Burke, J. R. Waring and John Barsby have reflected 
credit upon Fillmore County. Grand Island — When the first court was held here 
in 1868, the entire resident Hall County bar was 0. A. Abbott, Sr., and fifty-three 
years later as these lines are written, this worthy dean of the bar is still in the 
active practice and trying hard-fought cases, and his two sons have long since 
been admitted. Other early veterans of this bar were W. H. Piatt, George H. 
Thumniell, now of Omaha, T. 0. C. Harrison, later district and supreme judge; 
John D. Hayes; William H. Thompson, the "little giant," now in 1920 both 
democratic national committeeman and member of the commission planning and 
building the new state capitol ; and his brother, District Judge John R. Thompson, 
whose court reporter, Bayard 'H. Paine, is now in 1920 district judge, and was 
the trial judge in the famous Cole-Grammer case in Howard County in 1918. In 
the past thirty years Hall County has had a group of able lawyers whose service 
has been extended to all parts of central and western Nebraska, notably, Gov. 0. A. 
Al)lHitt. Fred W. Ashton, Mayor J. L. Cleary, Willard A. Prince, R. R. Horth, 
Arthur C. Mayer, Bayard H. Paine, Charles G. Ryan, W. H. Thompson and 
J. H. Woolley. Greeley — General James H. Barry, George W. Scott and Judge 
James R. Hanna were giants of this bar twenty years ago, with T. P. I^anigan, 
who is .still actively practicing w-ith his sons, J. M. and T. W. Lanigan ; James R, 
Swain, and T. J. Howard have been active practitioners. Hartington — This bar 
has offered the state, Wilbur F. Brj-ant, H. E. Burkett. R. J. Millard, B. Ready, 
J. ('. Robinson and C. H. Whitney. Hebron — Known beyond Thayer County have 
been J. T. McCuiston, C. L. Richards and M. H. Weiss, especially. Holdrege — ■ 
This bar has had veteran lawyers such as W. P. Hall, brother of Frank M. Hall 
of Lincoln; Gus Norberg, G. H. Johnson, A. J. Shafer, S. A. Dravo, Judge W. A. 
Dilworth, and the present attorney-general, Clarence A. Davis, had started in 
practice there when elected to that oflBce. Kearney — Terv early lawyers in this 
county were H. C. Andrews, John Barnd, E. C. Calkins, who became a supreme 
court commissioner and one of the recognized lawyers of Central Nebraska ; 
E. M. Cunningham, James E. Gillespie, Judge Francis G. Hamer, one of the trial 
wizards of early Nebraska days, and later a district and Supreme Court judge, 
being a member of the latter court when he died in 1918, and A. H. Connor, his 
old-time partner; Judge W. L. Greene, considered one of Nebraska's very greatest 
orators; L. S. Irvin; Samuel L. Savidge. In later years another group of 
lawyers became prominent at this bar, including Frank E. Beeman, ex-United 
States Senator Norris Brown, now practicing in Omaha, John N. Dryden, J. M. 
Easterling, W. H. Hand, N. P. ^McDonald, Fred A. Nye, John A. Miller, Willis 
D. Oldham, formerly Supreme Court commissioner and counted one of the 
best orators of the present generation in Nebraska; Warren Pratt and H. M. Sin- 
clair. Lexington — The list of early lawyers here included A. S. Baldwin, Thomas 
J. Hewitt, T. L. Warrington, W. A. Stewart, and later on came E. A. Cook, George 
C. Gillan, T. M. Hewitt, John H. Linderman, D. H. Moulds, N. E. Olsen and 
John I. Negley. Loup City has been the home of several very well known lawyers, 
including R. J. Nightingale and son, who have moved to the Pacific Coast, 

288 IHSTOliY (»F N Kl'.HASKA 

Judge Aaron Wall, one of the must eloi|uciit of Xel)raska lawyers in the court 
room, J. S. Pedlar, E. 11. Mathew aud K. P. Starr. ilcCook — This bar has been 
favored with such talent as U. S. Senator G. \V. Xorris, W. S. Morlan, F. L. 
Wolfe, C. D. Ritchie, Judge C. E. Eldred and C. H. Boyle. :\ladiscHi, is another 
bar that has sent forth men who became well known, the dean of this bar being 
Judge W. V. Allen; but here have als<, practiced M. E. Foster, M. S. McDuffee, 
Willis E. Reed, James 2<ichuls and W . ]j. iJcjwling, while in the same county at 
Norfolk have been Judge J. B. Barnes, II. F. Barnhardt, Burt Mapes, who died 
a few weeks ago in 1920, Jack and Arthur Koenigstein, M. C. Hazen, M. D. Tyler, 
Charles 11. Kelsey and Webb Rice, who came over from Xeligh. Xorth Platte has 
had an exceptionally strong bar. Some of its leaders have been J.- G. Beeler, 
J. S. Hoagland and sou W. X.. Albi'rt ]\Iuldoon. Minden — Here have been L. W. 
TLague, C. P. Anderberry, Charles A. Chappell, Milo D. King, Lewis C. Paulsen, 
J. L. ilePlieeley and J. H. Robb. Nebraska City — Tliis town being one of the very 
oldest has had practically an older and a newer bar. Among the very early lawyers 
were S. IT. Calhoun, A. S. Cole, -George W. Covell, J. T. Greenwood, Monroe L. 
Hayward, who was elected to the United States Senate just before his death, and 
whose son, William Hayward, has achieved national fame in recent years; John 
r. Kinney, a judge of the Supreme Court of Iowa, before his career of prominence 
in Nebraska began ; Edwin J. Murfin, C. W. Seymour, S. J. and T. B. Stevenson, 
Edwin F. Warren; later came Paul Jeissen, D. W. Livingston, A. P. and W. F. 
Moran, W. H. Pitzer, A. C. Bischoif, W. W. Wilson, and John C. Watson. O'Neill 
has been the home of one of Nebraska's greatest trial wizards, M. F. Harrington, 
and his brother, Judge J. J. Harrington, Judge Dickson, Arthur F. Mullen, 
Congres.sman M. P. Kinkaid, J. A. Donahoe ; and O'Neill within the past fifteen 
years has probably sent more of her sons to the Nebraska law schools than any 
tow-n of her size in the state. Ord has furnished a number of lawyers whose 
prestige reached beyond Valley County. Three of this number have become district 
judge, Charles A. Munn and E. P. Clements and E. J. Clements, brothers, both 
appointed to that honor is 1920; A. Norman and A. M. Robbins were well known 
trial lawyers; Claude A. Davis and his brother Clarence M. Davis are now the 
senior lawyers of this bar, and recently the sons of two of the old veterans of 
the bar started in practice together. George A. Munn, Ralph G. Norman, and 
E. L. Vogcltanz took over Judge Clements' office. The leading firms at 
Osceola in the past two decades have been King and Bittner, Mills, 
Beebe & ilills, ajul Ball & Johnston. Pawnee CiJ'y is another point that 
had a very early bar and a more recent one. Judge J. B. Rapcr, Supreme Court 
Clerk Harry C. Lindsay, R. W. and A. I. Story, and F. A. Barton have been 
leaders of this bar. Pender has had among other lawyers Judge Graves, Howard 
Saxton and Thomas L. Sloan, an Indian, who built up a national reputation 'in his 
defense of his race and has now moved to Washington, D. C, to devote his atten- 
tion exclusively to that aim. Plattsmouth is one of those points settled so long 
ago, it requires two stories to tell of its liar, first, the juoneers among whom 
numbered J. H. Brown, who in is."),") was the tirst lawyer to locate here. A. H. 
'J'ownscnd came in 1856, Willett Pottenger and T. M. ^larquette, later of Lincoln, 
came in 18.')6 also, and S. II. Elbert next. Maxwell & Chapman began business 
in ISf),"), the former being Samuel Maxwell, who served the longest of any member 
of the Nebraska Supreme Court and was author of a series of legal text books still 


in daily use by the Xebraska bar and uever yet displaced as standard autliorities. 
Beesoii and SlcLenuan came soon after that. In 1882 there .were nineteen attor- 
neys practicing in Plattsmouth; and in 190!) there were eighteen listed. Among 
the later lawyers of the Cass County bar appears the names of Byron ('lark, now 
Xebraska counsel for the Burlington Railroad system; D. 0. Dwyer, Matt Geriug, 
who has gained a great reputation both as a trial lawyer and an orator; B. S. 
Ramsey and his son W. C. Ramsey, now in Omaha; C. A. Eawls, James Robert- 
son, former Supreme Court judge Jesse L. Root, also of the Burlington Railroad 
staff now; A. L. Tidd, Judge H. D. Travis, and R. B. AVindham, also one of the 
foremost active spirits in the preservation of Xebraska aiiuals. Ponca was the early 
field of Judge John B. Barnes, W. E. Gantt, Judge W. F. Xorris, and in later 
years J. J. McCarthy, W. D. McCarthy, C. A. Kingsbury and John V. Pearson. 
Red Cloud has had several lawyers of prestige beyond Webster County, Judge 
L. H. Blackledge, Bernard AliXeiiy, one of the foremost trial lawyers of southern 
Xebraska; J. S. Gilham, ('. W. Kaley, F. E. Maurer, and E. U. Overman. St. 
Paul had produced two district Judges, A. A. Kendall and James X. Paul. Frank 
J. Taylor and T. T. Bell have attained considerable prestige as practicing attorneys. 
Schuyler — C. J. Phelps came to Colfax County in 1869 when it had less than two 
hundred inhabitants; Russell & Chambers, John H. Brown and Miles Zentmj-er 
were other very early lawyers. James A. Grimison and George H. Thomas became 
district judges, and other prominent law}'ers who practiced at Schuyler were 
Supreme Court Commissioner W. M. Cain, lately of Fremont, W. I. Allen, B. F. 
Farrell, George W. Wertz; Mrs. J. A. Grimison was admitted in 1889, and 
practiced with her husband. SeottsblufE is a rather recent town,- started only 
twenty years ago, but has several very able lawyers. Fred A. Wright had one of 
the largest practices in western Xebraska prior to his removal to Omaha in 1921. 
Wm. and Thos. M. Morrow, L. L. Raymond, and Beach Coleman came when the 
town was yet young. Robert G. Simmons of this bar is State Commander of 
American Legion in 1921. Seward has been the home of Xorval Brothers, one 
of whom sat on the supreme bench. John X. Edwards, Henry C. Page, Daniel 
C. McKillip. Thomas E. Sanders, Robert St. Clair, Roes P. Anderson ajid 
O. T. B. Williams were early lawyers here. L. H. McKillip, H. D. Landis, 
and the sons of the Xorvals have developed in recent years, and Jacob J. 
Thomas of this point has been one of the recognized leaders of the Xebraska 
bar. Judge Xorval's firm is one of the recognized offices of the state. 
Sidney— W. P. Miles of this town has been one of the best known criminal prac- 
titioners in Xebraska legal history; his former partner J. L. Mcintosh has also 
developed a good standing. At Stanton have practiced W. P. Cowan, G. A. Eberly, 
J. A. Ehrhardt, A. A. Kearney and W. W. Young. The Tecumseh bar has a 
long history; Judge Samuel P. Davidson began the practice there in 1872; D. F. 
0,sgood, for past ten years at Hyannis, X'eb., was formerly there; and in more 
recent years have been A. X. Dafoe, L. C. Chapman, Jay Moore and Hugh Lannister, 
now counsel for Xebraska State Railway Commission, and as siicli an assistant 
attorney-general. Tekamah has been the home of M. R. and \V. M. Hopewell, 
B. C. Enyart, Judge W. G. Sears, and J. A. Singhaus. At X'aUritine, F. M. 
Walcott has been a leading attorney; Chief Justice Andrew M. Morrissey of 
present Supreme Court formerly practiced here ; and E. G. Clarke, J. C. Quigley, 
John M. Tucker, and R. G. Easley have been successful practitioners. The 


Wahoo bar furnished to the state Chiet Justice Manoah B. Reese, aud if it had 
uever done any more than that would be entitled to rank among the best in the 
state. Other early lawyers here were Nelson 11. Bell, J. R. Gilkeson, early partner 
of Judge Reese; C. S. Johnson, and in recent years among the practitioners here 
have been J. H. Barry, Judge B. F. Good, now of Lincoln; Judge E. E. Good, for- 
merly of Supreme Court commission and now of district bench ; B. E. Hendricks, 
E. E. Placek, and C. II. Slama. Wayne has had A. R. Davis, F. A. Berry, Judge 
A. A. Welch, J. Britton and George E. Wilber. West Point has been the home 
of J. ('. Elliott, well known in northeastern Nebra.ska, F. D. Hunker, S. S. Krake, 
P. M. Moodie and A. G. Burke. At Wisner, in the same county of Cuming, 
have been Jesse C. McNish and Judge A. R. Oleson. York has been the home 
of District and Supreme Court Judge Samuel H. Sedgwick, his brother, Theron E. 
Sedgwick; Judge George W. Post, Judge George F. Corcoran, M. M. Wildman, 
Geo. M. Spurlock, Senator Charles E. Sandall, Judge Arthur G. Wray, who made 
such a remarkable race for governor in 1920 without a party designation: E. A. 
ami ('. F. CilhiM-t, G. B. France. J. W. Purinton. ('. F. Stroman, 0. S. Gihnore, 
an.l W. W. Wycuif. 

The foregoing review has only attempted to touch the larger centers of popu- 
lation and county seat towns of larger population throughout the state, as it is in 
such places that the greater portion of the law practice centers and the lawyers 
who gain wide experience in trying cases reside. But this rule, like all others, 
has notable exceptions, and no doubt we have overlooked lawyers residing in 
smaller places who have been most adept in their profession. We cannot close 
this review without paying especial tribute to a record made by one county bar 
in Nebraska that perhaps was not excelled in the United States. During the 
recent World war almost the entire Morrill County, Neb., bar went into military 
.service. .At the opening of the w-ar there were, eleven members of this bar exclusive 
of County Judge Stueteville, not very actively engaged in the practice. Of those 
eleven, seven went into the service, or about seventy per cent of this bar left 
their otlice and clientele and entered service. William Ritchie, Claiborne G. 
Perry, Thos. F. Neighbors. George W. Irwin, Yale H. Cavatt and Charles Mantz 
went into military service; F. E. Williams went over-seas as a Y". M. C. A. worker, 
and K. W. McDonald figured at one time on leaving; Judge L. G. Hurd, formerly 
of Harvard, came after the departure of Mr. Williams to care for his office, and 
located there upon his return. This loft at home only Judge George J'. Hunt, 
K. W. McDonald. Fred T. Nichols and later Judge Ilurd. 









Nebraska is rich in agricultural resources, development and possibilities. Much 
of the agriculture has passed the experimental stage. It is more or less specialized 
and standardized. Land values average higher than in most states. There are 
practically no public lands left subject to entry. Everything, except tracts of a 
few acres each, is deeded and managed as ranches and farms. 

Rich Heritage — The deep, fertile soils of Nebraska represent a heritage of 
great value. Though there are more than 100 kinds of soil, much of the land is 
stone free. Broad stretches of comparatively smooth country have a subsoil 50 to 
100 feet deep and as rich as the surface soil except for the lower per cent of humus. 
Such large areas of this kind are not found in any other state. 

The diversity of soils, topography, and rainfall in Nebraska cause a diversified 
agriculture. They determine the distribution of grazing, dry farming, irrigation, 
and humid farming. 

Nebraska ranches and farms are well improved. Most of them use machinery 
and motor power. There is more than average efficiency per unit of labor. In 
other words, the per capita production is high. 

Farmers' Organizations — The various branches of agricultural industry are organ- 
ized to further production and distribution. For example, there are swine breeders, 
livestock associations, diairy organizations, corn growers and fruit growers, represent- 
ing specialized industry, and the more general organizations, such as the Farmers' 
Congress, Farmers' Union, etc. 

Farm Papers — The daily press, farm journals, and other publications are found 
in every country home. The Nebraska Press Association is furthering conserva- 
tion and state development. 

The following articles by competent persons cover the leading agricultural indus- 
tries of Nebraska. 


liiipdrtaiicc (if ('(irn. C'l 

.ni is Xebr 


[fs iirincipal cro]), 

oue-hair of thu cullivated n 

iva of ihe 


te. In fact, the i 

good soil make the state e.<iJ 

ieciallv aiia 


1 to corn growing. 


'1II1-; volts INDLiSTIiY 

P.y \V. W. Burr, Professor of Agronomy, The University of Nebraska. 

being grown on about 
vorable climate and 
The cash value and 

acreage of coi-n is more than the total of wheat, oats, rye and barley. Since 1910 the 
corn acreage has increased slightly. The acreage in 1910 was 6,595,088, while in 
1918 it was ().954.0(;i acres. In 1918, however, the total yield was 123,298,649 
bushels, while in n)10 with a smaller acreage the yield was 178,923,128 bushels. 
This deci-casc in yield in 1918 was due largely to the low rainfall. The total value 
of the crop in 1918 was $160,288,24:5, as contrasted with $87,877,546 in 1910. The 
total acreage in 1919 was 7,639,811 with a production of 182,250,823 bushels valued 
at $227,813,528.75. War time prices iiave brought unusual prosperity to the corn- 
growers of the state. 

Varieties. The conun<Jii varieties for the southeastern parts of the state are 
lieid's Yellow Dent, Hogue's Yellow Dent, Chase's White Dent, Iowa's Silver Mine, 
St. Charles White, and corns of that type. The ears grow 8 to 10 inches long and 
7 inches in circumference. The kernels are rather deeply indented, liave rather 
distinct keystone shape and are starchy. 

For the central parts of the state, modifications of the above varieties as well as 
Calico and Gund's White are grown. 

Sweet corn. In some sections of the state, especially in the southeastern jjart, 
considerable sweet corn is grown on a commercial basis. This is supjilied to the 
canneries in those sections. Several varieties are being grown. The industry ha? 
usually brought good returns. 

Pop Corn. In the central and northeastern parts of the state, pop corn is 
grown on a commercial basis, the rice variety being the one ordinarily grown. Under 
prices that have normally obtained around three cents a pound to the grower, the 
returns have been satisfactory. During war conditions, the price to the grower was 
as high a.s six or .seven cents per pound. Some growers are putting the po]) corn in 
cribs in order to hold and find llieir own markets. Previously most of the pop corn 
has been gi-own under cmitrart. 


By W. W. !?nrr. Professor of .Vgroiiomy. The University of Xebraska 

Acreage and Production. Next to corn, wheat is Nebraska's most important 
grain crop. The rapid development of the western sections of the state together 
with war prices has in recent years induced a large increase in acreage. From 
1,000,950 aei-es in 1890, wlu^it in 19IS rea.lied 3,827,659 acres, with a yield of 
43,241,840 bushels, representing in that year a valuation of $88,483,680. Since the 
'80s there has been steady increase in production per acre. According to figures 
comi)iled by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the yield per acre was 10.8 
iuishels. for the 10-year period from 1886 to 1896; the next 10 years 15.4 bushels 
and during the 10-vear period from 1906 to 1915, 17.8 bushels. The avera^n:" vield 


for the entire United States from 1907 to lUlo was 15 bushels ]<vv acre. The 
acreage in Xebraska for 1919 was 4,383,731, auJ the yielil nf (;? bushels 
represented a valuation of $121,675,881.10. 

Winter Wheat. The increase in wheat growing after 1890 was due largely to 
the popularity of raising winter wheat. Prior to that time, most wheat grown in 
Xebraska was spring wheat, but now very little spring wheat is grown. Attempts to 
grow winter wheat were unsuccessful until the present Turkey Bed was introduced. 
The most extensive \vheat area of the state is south of the Platte and west of Gage 
and Lancaster counties. There are several important areas in the western counties. 
Wheat is grown in all agricultural districts of X^'ebraska. 

Wherever winter wlieat can be grown, it is more desirable than spring wheat 
because it gives the larger yields. Winter w'heat ripens earlier, thus escaping some 
danger of dry weather, insects, and disease. In the eastern counties, if the weather 
is hot and dry, spring wheats are usually shriveled, while if the weather is moist, 
warm and favorable to the development of rust, the crop will not properly fill. 
Spring wheat is most extensively grown in the northern and northwestern counties. 

Varieties of Winter Wheat. The Turkey Eed, Kharkov, and Beloglina or any 
of the Crimean wheats are well adapted and hardy. Turkey Red is far more com- 
monly grown than any other winter wheat in the state. Marvelous, a com])arati\ely 
recent variety, has given good yields but of somewhat inferior quality. 

Varieties of Spring Wheat. Two distinct types of spring wheat are the Common 
and Durum or Macaroni. The latter does not do well in humid weather. It is 
adapted to a rainfall of under twenty inches. Durum is grown rather extensively in 
the western and northwestern parts of the state. Of the common spring wheats the 
Swedish, Bearded Fife, Marquis, and Early Java have given good results in 
Xebraska. The Swedish and Marquis are both commercial varieties and can be 
obtained on that basis. 


Xebraska has become not only an imjiortant wheat state, but also a great pro- 
portion of the wheat produced in the state is milled right at the doors of the fields. 
Xebraska has several of the largest flouring mills in the United States, outside of 
the vast mills in and around Minneapolis. The mills of the Wells, Abbott & Xieman 
Co. at Schuyler producing Puritan Flour supply a quantity of product, the greatest 
proportion of which is shipped out of the state, all over the country and to foreign 
shores. Omaha has the large Maney jMills. A number of the older and important 
mills of the state were consolidated in 1919 into the Consolidated Milling Co., which 
took over the Henry Glade Mills of Grand Island, operated by that family since 1883 
and the successor of a mill started in 1867; the Hastings Mill, the Eavenna Mills 
and the Blackburn & Furry Mills at St. Edward. The new Lexington Eoller ]\Iills 
are one of the biggest of their kind in the Central West. The Gooch Mills at Lin- 
coln are among the leading plants of the countiT. The Crete Mills is another 
immense plant of this line. Among the Xebraska towns which have built up suc- 
cessful mills are: Ain.sworth, Albion, Alexandria, Atkinson, Avoca, Abie', Arapahoe, 
Auburn, Aurora, Beatrice, Beaver City, Beemer, Bennington, Blair, Bloomfield, 
Bloomington, Blue Springs, which has natural water power from the Blue River; 
Brainard, Broken Bow, Burwell, w-ith excellent w-ater power from the Loup; Boelus, 


where a great electric jjower dam is situated upou the Loup; Bruning, Battle Creek, 
Cambridge, Colclesser, Chappell, Callaway, Campbell, Cedar Rapids, Central City, 
Clarkson, Clearwater, Columbus, Comstoek, Cook, Cozad, Creighton, Crete, Cham- 
pion, Culbertson, Chadron, Crawford, De Witt, David City, Deshler, Doniphan, 
Dorchester, Elmcreek, Elmwood, Exeter, Elgin, Franklin, Fremont, Friend, Geneva, 
Genoa, Gibbon, Gordon, Grand Island, Grant, Greenwood, Gothenberg, Gretna, 
Hardy, Ilartington, Hastings, Hay Springs, Hemingford, Hebron, Hershey, Hil- 
dreth, Holdregc, Homer, Howells, Humboldt, Humphrey, Indianola, Jausen, 
Jaunita, Kearney, Kenesaw, Kimball, Litchfield, Laurel, Lawrence, Lewellen, Lex- 
ington, Lincoln, Loup City, Lynch, Lyons, Madison, Mason City, Maywood, Minden, 
Mitchell, Milford for com; Monroe, Martinsburg, Xeligh, Newcastle, Xewman 
Grove, Norfolk, North Bend, North Platte, Nehawka, Orchard, Orleans, Osceola, 
Oak, Oakdale, with splendid water power ; Ogalalla, Omaha, Ord, Papillion, Pender, 
Pierce, Plainview, Plattsmouth, Polk, Platte Center, Pleasant Hill, Randolph, 
Ravenna, Red Cloud, Riverton, Rushville, Royal, St. Edward, Salem, Schuyler, 
Scribner, Seward, Snyder, Spalding, Spencer, Sterling, Superior, Surprise, Syra- 
cuse : some milling at Silver Creek, Sweetwater, Stanton, Shelton, Springview, 
Stamford, Sutton, Tecumseh, Tilden, Ulysses, Valentine, Valparaiso, Verdigre, 
Wahoo, West Point, Wilber, Wisner, Wood River, Wynot, Wayne, and York. 

Many of these mills are not very large plants, and oftentimes when a flour mill 
becomes a poor paying investment, it is continued as a grist mill, and sometimes 
changed into an alfalfa mill. Numerous mills of those listed herein also have 
machinery for alfalfa milling. But in addition there are a number of alfalfa mills 
through the state, notably at Kearney, Lexington, Cozad, Elmcreek, Hershey, 
Mitchell, Seward and Fort Calhoun. Valley and Waterloo, in Douglas County, have 
Inrirc >cvi\ houses, and at Ord and North Loup, the pop corn seed industry is impor- 
tant, this \'alley County territory ranking a second pop-corn producing center in 
the country. A list of mills compiled in 1919 and 1920 will soon be out of date, as 
mills come and go,' but the roster of towns that now have mills, or have had until a 
very recent date, through the diversity in size, location and other characteristics 
serves to emphasize the fact that Nebraska is an agricultural state from one border to 
the other, and that wheat is one of the important agricultural factors in the state's 

Second to a.<:ririiliural activities of Xebniska. conies her live stock and dairying 
business. The importance of Onudui as a live stock center emphasized in another 
part of this chapter, with her great packing houses and stock yards, serves to bear 
this out. Lincoln lias a reasonable sized stock yards, and a good packing plant. A 
successful packing plant has operated at Nebraska City for many years, am! two 
small packing plants are operating in 1920 at Grand Isiaii<l. 

Practically every railroad station in the state has a small receiving yard for 
stock, and the important division centers, as (iiainl Island, Fremont, Norfolk, in 
most have a fairly equipped stock yards, loi- transfer and feeding purposes as 
the cattle are en route to market at Omaha or farther points. Grand Island has 
the second largest horse and mule markets in the country, and a number of other 
smaller towns are establishing such market places. A number of condensed milk 
plants have been put in at Curtis, Fairbury, Garland and other points; a number of 
the creameries in tlie state also have ice cream manufacturing plants and a few are 
devoted to that sole purpose. 



Nebraska has tuo „f tlie laririNt .rfMiiKTV plants in thr United States, especially 
the Beatrice creaini'iy plant at Lincoln and the Fairmont ci'cainery plants at Crete 
and Grand Island. Omaha has se\cr'al creameries and wholesale i-ecei\in,u- stations 
for creamery companies. Firms located at Omaha are Beatrice (.'reamei'y Co., Fair- 
mont Creamery Co., Kirschbaum & Sons, Waterloo Creamery Co., Alfalfa Butter 
Co., David Cole Co., Hardinj;- Ice Cream Co., Alamito Dairy Co., Fremont Creamery 
Co., and numerous other linns, [jincoln comes second as a liuttcr and cut; market, 
with the big Beatrice ,ivamci-y plant, the Line., In Pure I'.utter Co. and the opera- 
tions of Roberts Dairy Co., which also have a cheese factory at Milfoiil. The 
Beatrice Creamery Co. have their plants also at Beatrice and Central City. The 
Bavenna Creamery Co., in addition to the home plant at Ravenna. ha\e phiiit> at 
Ord and Loup City. The Waterloo Creamery Co. have plants at Omalia. Waterloo 

located, among others, at the following towns: Arcadia, Aurora, Albion, Callaway, 
Chambers, Coleridge, Comstock, Columbus, Fremont, Fairbury, Fontanelle, Hum- 
boldt, Kearney, Morrdl, North Platte, Xorfolk, Archer, Alliance, York, Woobacli, 
Verdigre, Scottsblulf, Supcri.jr. Pandolph and Minden, for ice cream; Nebraska 
City, McCook, O'Neill, Louisville, Iloldrege, Hemingford, Hastings, Germantown, 
Deshler, Burwell, Bridgeport, Eagle, Hartiii,c1:on, Hay Springs, Hildreth, Ilowells, 
Leigh, Madison, Red Cloud, Riverton, St. Paul. Schuyler. Spalding. West Point, 
Mullen and Palmer. 

Even should a few newer ])lants ha\f lieen inadvertently oM-rlookeil in this list, 
or a few that may have closed down in the last year or two not been culled out, the 
foregoing list shows conclusively that the dairying industry in Xi'hraska has readied 
the stage where it has very evenly spread into all parts of tlu> comnionwealth. 


By J. n. Fransden, Professor of Dairy Husbandry, The University of Xebraska 

Nebraska has importance in dairying, yet the conditions favor a much larger 
development of the industry. Among the favorable conditions are healthful climate, 
good water, a large number of suitable feeds, and transportation facilities for 
marketing the dairy products. 

Number of Cows. The number of milch cows reported for Nebraska has increased 
during the past few years. The 11)18 census shows 530,11:5 cows valued at $47,- 
710,170. This is a distribution of about seven cows per square mile, wbercas there 
is room for three or four times this number. 

Forms of the Dairy Industry. The dairy industry includes the product i<in of 
milk and cream, butter-making and the by-products connected therewith, ami the 
manufacture of large quantities of ice cream. Creameries, cream stations, ctui- 
densories, and milk depots are established in various ]iarts of the state. Tlie largest 
butter-making centers are Omaha and Lincoln. 

Milk is produced and separated on many farms and ranches. 'l"hc separated milk 
is fed to live stock and the cream is used or shipi^ed. Many small dairies supply the 
towns and cities with milk. Soiue home-made butter is sold on local markets. 


Small and large dairies haul aud ship milk to towns and cities. Cream is collected 
at hundreds ol' stations and shipped to the butter-making centers. 

More progress has been made in the dairy industry in Nebraska during the past 
two years than during any ten-year period previously, according to J. E. Palm, 
secretary of the >iebraska Dairymen's Association, upon November 21, 1920. 

Although the state still ranks comparatively low in the milk producing states, it 
is fourth in butter production. "This has been brought about. "" Mr. Palm says, "by 
the breeding of better stock, dairymen and farmers realizing that l)y raising pure 
bred animals their butter jjroduction will be increased." 

Nebraska, he says, is admirably adapted to the dairy industry. "Few states 
have greater possibilities in dairying than Nebraska," he says. To substantiate this 
statement, Mr. Palm calls attention to the fact that during last year the state pro- 
duced more than 3,000,000 tons of alfalfa. "Some states that are ahead of Nebraska 
in the dairy industry produce very little alfalfa and are forced to have this feed 
shipped in/' he said. 

Government statistics for year show that the state had 27,785 milch cows, an 
increase of more than 6,000 over the preceding year. This year, Mr. Palm says, the 
increase will be even greater. 

The Nebraska Dairymen's Association lias been i-onduetiiig an educational cam- 
paign to promote the uses of milk and milk products. Another campaign among 
dair}'men and farmers is being conducted by the association to induce them to kill 
off the nonproducing milch cows and replace them with pure-bred stock. Every 
eifort is being done to replace the scrub cow with better grades. 


Dr. C. E. Bessey, in writing concerning this plant, in ISiKt, remarked : "It 
is said the Greeks and Eomaus grew it, and that to these countries it was brought 
from Persia, and possibly from regions still farther east. Its cultivation certainly 
dates back two thousand or twenty-five hundred years.'' 

It is claimed that S. P. Parker, of Curtis, Frontier County, grew alfalfa in ISTC ; 
in 1878 it was tried in Harlan County by J. C. Mitchell; J. P. Nead of Kiverton 
grew it in 1882; a field was tried at Guide Rock, Nebraska, in 1877. Martin Slat- 
tery of Shelton, Buffalo County, tried it in 1887, and H. D. Watson on his ranch 
found twenty acres growing there when he took charge in 1889, so while not the 
first, Hall County was among the pioneer counties in introducing alfalfa into 


By T{. P. Crawford, of the Nebraska Farmer 

Alfalfa is one of Nebraska's main crops, and with the exceiition of wheat, corn, 
oats, and wild bay, was crcdiird with the greatest acreage of any crop in 1918. 
Reports from the Stat.' Moan! of Agriculture indicated 1,164,941 acres devoted to 
this crop in 1!M8 with a yield of 2,.527,8;34 tons. The acreage in 1919 increased to 
1,180,234 with a production of 3,214,999.1 tons. This shows an increase of 687,165 
tons in production for one year. Alfalfa gives the heaviest yield per acre of any hay 
crop grown in N'ebraska. 


Probably the last ten years have witnessed the greatest development in alfalfa 
growing in the state. In 1908 the total acreage was only a little more than a half 
million acres. Now there is liardly a covmty in the state that does not have an 
important acreage devoted to this crop. Through the west-central section of Ne- 
braska there is a district that is more famed for its alfalfa than almost any other 
section. Last year one man sold his crop in the field, stacked but not hauled away, 
for $70 an acre. This is above the average and the prices received last year were 
unusual, but it nevertheless gives some idea of the money that lies in the growing of 
this crop. Another farmer, a sheep man, estimates that during normal years he can 
make $24 an acre net profit. That is figuring alfalfa at only $8 a ton. 

While alfalfa has attained its greatest popularity in the western half of the state, 
it is well suited to nearly every section and a good majority of the farms have at 
least some acreage devoted to it. It is easily grown and the fact that it comes up 
year after year makes it a crop to be managed with the minimum of care. Alfalfa 
also plays an important part as a soil builder. It belongs to a legume family and 
growing it wull enrich the soil. Each acre of alfalfa adds over twice as much nitro- 
gen to the soil as the average acre of red clover. Alfalfa because of its long root 
growth will also withstand dry weather much more readily than other crops. 

Other Hay Crops. In 1918 there were 2,587,678 acres devoted to wild hay and 
2,771,234 acres in 1919. During the last ten years there has been a gradual tend- 
ency, however, to devote more acres to cultivated crops, this being especially true 
with the development of the newer districts of the state. In 1918 there were 
122,162 acres of clover, 154,472 acres of timothy, and 101,441 acres of timothy and 
clover mixed. In 1919 the acreage was as follows : Clover, 60,213 ; timothy, 46,724 ; 
timothy and clover mi.xed, 185,233. The yield of wild hay is far less than the yield 
of alfalfa. In 1918 the yield of wild hay per acre was .88 tons, while alfalfa yielded 

2.1 tons, this being a low-yielding year for both crops, but in 1919 wild hay averaged 

1.02 tons and alfalfa 2.7 tons. The average yield of alfalfa is close to 3 tons per 
acre, while the average yield of wild hay is approximately 1 ton. 


By Esther S. Anderson, Department of Geography, The University of Xebraska 

Conditions Favorable. Nebraska is one of the pioneer states in the production of 
beet sugar. The climate and the soils of the western counties are especially suited 
for growing beets high in sugar content. The long summer days with abundance of 
sunshine and the cool nights are favorable conditions. The beet fields are irrigated 
during the growing season but little water is required later when the phuits are 
manufacturing and storing sugar. 

Where Beets Are Grown. The principal beet-growing areas are in the North 
Platte, Platte, Lodgepole, and Republican valleys on very fine sandy loam and fine 
sandy loam soils. The land is comparatively smooth, well drained, and easy to till. 

Sugar Factories. The first successful beet sugar factory in the United States 
was erected in Alvarado, California, in 1870. The second, with a capacity of 350 
tons of beets per day, was built in Grand Island in 1890 by the O.xnard Brothers. 
This plant, which has run most campaigns since building, was remodeled and 
enlarged last year. A factory with a capacity of 400 tons per day was built at 

Norfolk ill is!i|. 1 

1 (ipc 



finally luovr,! ,n Laii 

ill-, r 


do. A 

years ago, ojiurak-d < 





iiililVcn'iit >iirrc>.-. fur ;\ few years and was 
|iliiiit coiistniiti'il at Allies, Nebraska, several 
11(1 was iiioveil to Scottsbluff, where in 1910 
it was built into a large modern plant with a capacity of 1,900 or more tons per 
day. In 19 Hi a factory, capacity about 1,200 tons, was erected at Gering, and the 
fourth plant now oi)erating in the state was established at Bayard in 1917. 

It has been found that conditions for the beet sugar industry are less favorable 
in the part of the state than in the western part. The sugar content is 
lower and it is not possible to organize and conduct the labor activities so readily 
because the people are more accustomed to the growing of corn, wheat, and alfalfa; 
hence, the first factories Imilt in Nefiraska were moved to the more advantageous 

Shi) lit of I'.ci'ts. i;.Tt raisin- lia~ rapidly iiu r.-ascd siiici- the dcveloiinicnt 

was started in tlir NOrtli I'lattc \'al]cv. Ilccts -riiwii iii the Ifrpulilicaii and Ijulgi- 
pole valley.^ aiv sliip|M.| t.. Ihr Crand Island idaiit and h> factnrii's j,, Colorado. The 
Craiid island plant ivreives beets also from the I'latle and lower part of the North 
I'latte X'alley. .Most beets -rowii iii the North I'latte Valhy are milled at the 
Scottshliiir. (Jerin--. and Bayard plant>. Some Wyoming beet.- are shipped to these 

This story of the sugar beet is set out in an interesting way in a volume of 
biographical and historical memoirs of Nebraska, published in 1S!)(), wherein Pro- 
fessor Lassen treated the sugar beet industry as follows : 

Margraff demonstrated 140 years ago that there was sugar in the beets ; and the 
total product of France and Germany in the last half century alone demonstrated its 
value. The reflecting reader who sees nothing in Xapoleon save that of the great 
military leader, has failed to note the early, sulistantial encouragement that be gave 
the beet sugar industry in France, whieli in turn gave it greater impetus and suc- 
cess in Germany, albeit there were three factories in Germany as early as ISOn, but 
the warlike situation was not favorable for such an enterprise. Very soon, how- 
ever. Napoleon issued his famous decrees shutting out all English goods and mate- 
rial, which, if the effect was to raist' the price of sugar, ruined the Fi-eiuh wine 
trade and com])elled the Freiuh to look for ways and means to dispose jirolitably of 
their grajie crops and obtain a supply of sugar. In IS Id be gave two experimenters 
$28,0(11) for diseoNcring grape sugar; the amount ti 
factories. Soon after this N'a])oleon gave .$1(1.0(1(1 ti 
way of bounty or special encouragement, in is I 
should be planted to beets, and he established six experinii'iital stations to give 
instruction in the beet sugar industry, ordering that all fanners who desired attend 
lectures given there might do so \'vvr of eharge. and the sum of $200,000 was set 
apart to pay the ex]iense. In 1 M ■.' he estahlislu'd four speidal beet-root sugar schools, 
directing that lnii .-tiidents be atlaebed thereto. Tn addition and by way of special 
encouragement, lu' ordered to he granted •")((() lic-enses for beet sugar proihietion. to 
run to ])ro]n-ietors of factories and to manufacturers of .sugar from lieets: and those 
who made a ton of raw sugar were to be exempt from tax on their judduet for four 
years. In 1812 he directed the erection of four imperial beet sugar factories to pro- 
duce 2,100 tons. During this time Germany was not idle. The king of Prussia gave 
Archard, a pupil of MargrafT, a good sum of money to establish a school or factory 
for instruclion in beet sugar jiroduction, and from this school Russia drew her prac- 




M-ection of 

ve grape 


lar f 

letories bv 



It ",'. 

,11(1(1 acres 


tical knowledge of tlie work, and the Czar gave $;39,000 and exempted all land of 
those who built beet sugar factories from tax. At least one great discoverer and 
experimenter in this field, in Germany and France, was offered $100,000 if he would 
declare that his supposed discovery was a failure, but it did not attract him. 'i'he 
Xapoleonic wars destroyed this great industry in Eussia. Germany, and tiiially in 
France — after Napoleon had a]i|ii-(i|iiial('il millidiis (jf tlcillai's t(i <j:\\r il a siihstantial 
footing. It did not rise again in France until lS-?.",--?(;. n<ir in (Ici-inany niitil !S:i.",. 
From that time forward liotli Fnuur and Germany, as wvW as h'ussia, .\nstria and 
Belgium, have put Inrth givat rllnrts to extend the prcidurtion of l»vl su.^ar. liotli 
by bounties and by drawbacks on exjjorted sugar from beets, as well as a tarilV on 
imported sugar. The stimulants offered resulted in such a measure of smcess in 
France, that in 1839, a special tax of 15 francs on every 220 pounds of raw sugar 
was imposed. This operated harsldy, and the product fell off over tme-half. New- 
laws more liberal were passed from time to time, a tax going hand in hand generally 
with bounties and drawbacks, until, in 1878, France collected as tax, on sugar made 
in that country, upward of $22,000,000. This, in brief, is only a part of the early 
history of beet sugar production in France; and Germany as a matter of economic 
poliiv, followed in swift pursuit. Such was the development of the industry that in 
]S,s;i-.s4 there were 2,000,000 acres devoted to the production of the sugar beet in 
France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Eussia, Poland, Belgium, and Holland; and 
the aggregate beet sugar product, leaving out Eussia and Holland, was l,lsr),()()(i 
tons with 1,242 factories. At that time Germany had outstripped lici- great rival. 
France, because of her liberality and superior knowledge of the snIijiMi. So great 
was the quantity of beet sugar produced in 1883, that there was a lemiioraiy glut 
of it in the English market, inducing some farmers to ask a cliange in the laws, 
while others resorted to less acreage to reduce the surplus; nu'antinie (jur |ieo|ik' are 
jiaying from 6 to 9 cents for their sugar, entailing an expense to our population 
annually of over $75,000,000, the great part of the raw material of which goes 
abroad for refineries from Cuba; 240,000,000 of pouiuls inijiorted by us in 1887 
coming from England, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium ami the Netherlands. 
Cousul-General Walker says on the point, "It is to be noted that the sugar produc- 
tion of Germany has been stimulated by heavy protective duties ami by hounlics on 
export sugar, and the French tariff act of 1884 was a step towaid ailopting the 
policy which her great rival, (iermany, had found so effective. 

To show the effect of these laws, it seems only necessary to say that while the 
acreage in beets in Gernuiny. in l.S7i), was 282,500, in 1883 it was 352,100, and tons 
of sugar produced in ISTII were ■.'.S.-)i).n00. while in 1883 it was 4. '.'0.1. 000 tons. 


By E. F. Howard, Horti.adturist, The University of Nebraska 

Nebraska ranks abo\it teiitli anumg the large jiotato producing states. Over 
140,000 acres of potatoes were grown in the state in I'.in, representing a total yield 
of over 12,000,000 bushels. A large proportion of the yield is fnun western coun- 
ties, including Seotts Bluff, Box Butte, Sheridan, Dawes, Kindjall. Banner, Sioux, 
and Brown. A|)i)roximafely 2,000,000 bushels are grown with irrigation in Seotts 


Bluff, Morrill, Sioux, and Kimball coimtics. Potatoes are raised ou most farms 
and ranches of the state. 

The Nebraska Potato Improvement Association promotes the potato industry in 
Nebraska along the lines of production, transportation, and utilization of potatoes. 
Through it we may expect to see the best varieties, and strains of seed potatoes 
grown and disseminated. It will aid in establishing and maintaining the projier 
cultural practices and crop rotations in relation to soil fertility and yield. 

There are almost unlimited possibilities for extending the potato industry in 
western Nebraska. Over half of